Putin concludes his trip to China by emphasizing its strategic and personal ties with Russia

BEIJING (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin He completed a two-day visit to China On Friday, they sought to present an alternative to US global influence, emphasizing the countries’ growing strategic ties and his own relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Putin praised the development of bilateral trade while touring the China-Russia exhibition in the northeastern city of Harbin. He met with students at the Harbin Institute of Technology, known for its defense research and its work with the People’s Liberation Army.

Harbin, the capital of China’s Heilongjiang province, was once home to many Russian expatriates and retains some of that history in its architecture, such as the central St. Sophia Cathedral, a former Russian Orthodox church.

Underscoring the personal nature of the relationship, Putin said Harbin’s institute and his alma mater, St. Petersburg State University, would open a joint school for 1,500 students. “I firmly believe that this will become the flagship of Russian-Chinese cooperation in science and education,” he said.

Speaking to reporters, Putin said he had spent “almost a whole day, from morning to evening” in Beijing earlier in the day with the Chinese leader and other officials. As he left Beijing, the two leaders embraced.

The partnership between China and Russia is “not against anyone,” Putin said in an implicit reference to the West. “It aims at one thing: to create better conditions for the development of our countries and to improve the well-being of the people of China and the Russian Federation.”

But he still had a backlash for the U.S. and others opposed to the Moscow-Beijing relationship, saying “an emerging multipolar world … is now taking shape before our eyes.”

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“Those who try to maintain their monopoly on decision-making in the world on all issues … it is important that they do everything they can to ensure that this process happens naturally,” he said.

Both Russia and China have often spoken of an “emerging multilateral world” as a response to what they see as US hegemony.

Joseph Dorijian, a research fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, said the message China and Russia are sending is clear: “This time, they are reminding the West that they can counter when they want to.”

In Washington, White House national security spokesman John Kirby played down the significance of the meeting, saying the two countries have no long history of trusting each other, even if they act in ways that are contrary to American interests.

Kirby noted that a U.S. intelligence assessment released last month indicated that China has increased sales to Russia of machine tools, microelectronics and other technology that Moscow uses to make missiles, tanks, aircraft and other weapons. “But they’re two leaders who don’t have a long history of working together, and officials in both governments don’t necessarily trust the other,” Kirby said.

“What they have in common is a desire to challenge the international rules-based order” and challenge alliances and partnerships that include the United States, Kirby said.

Taiwan Foreign Minister Joseph Wu addressed Putin’s visit In an interview with The Associated PressWestern powers should continue to support Ukraine as part of sending a message that democracies protect each other, he said.

“If Ukraine is finally defeated, I think China will be inspired, and they may take more ambitious steps in expanding their power in the Indo-Pacific region, and that will be disastrous for the international community,” Wu said.

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Putin began his fifth term in office this month Xi began his third term Last year. Wu added that the Russian leader’s visit was “an example of two major authoritarian countries supporting each other, cooperating with each other, and supporting each other’s expansion.”

Following this, Russia has been isolated globally 2022 Invasion of Ukraine. China has a tense relationship with the United States, which it has branded a rival, and faces pressure to continue supplying Russia with key components needed for weapons production.

Putin began the day by laying flowers at the Harbin Memorial for Soviet soldiers who fell fighting for China against the Japanese during the Second Sino-Japanese War, when Japan occupied parts of China.

At a trade fair in Harbin, Putin emphasized the importance of Russia-China cooperation in jointly developing new technologies.

“Relying on the traditions of friendship and cooperation, we can look to the future with hope,” he said. “The Russian-Chinese partnership helps our countries’ economic growth, ensures energy security, helps improve productivity and creates new jobs.”

A joint statement on Thursday outlined their worldview and outlined criticisms of US military alliances in Asia and the Pacific. The meeting was another pledge of friendly “borderless” relations that China and Russia signed in 2022, shortly before Moscow invaded Ukraine.

Talks of ending the fighting were a frequent feature of Thursday’s comments, even as Russia opened a new front with attacks on Ukraine’s northeastern border. The war is going on An important point for UkraineIt faced delays in getting arms from the US

China presented a broad plan for peace It was rejected last year by Ukraine and the West for failing to call on Russia to leave occupied parts of Ukraine.

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After the invasion of Moscow and subsequent Western sanctions, Russia has become increasingly dependent on China for technology and some consumer imports. Trade between the two countries increased to $240 billion last year.

European leaders They have put pressure on China It was of little avail to influence Russia to end its invasion. Experts say the Moscow-Beijing relationship offers strategic advantages, especially when both countries have tensions with Europe and the United States.

“Even if China compromises on many things, including reducing support for Russia, it is unlikely that the US or the West will turn China into a competitor,” said Hu Tiang Boon, who studies Chinese foreign policy in Singapore. Nanyang Technological University. “They see very little incentive to compromise.”

Xi and Putin have a long-standing agreement to visit each other’s countries once a year, and Xi was welcomed to the Kremlin last year.


Wu reported from Bangkok. AP writers Dasha Litvinova in Tallinn, Estonia, and Simina Mistreanu and Christopher Bodeen in Taipei, Taiwan, contributed.

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