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Putin And Xi Praise The Enduring Stability Of The China-Russia Partnership At The SCO Meeting

Putin And Xi Praise The Enduring Stability Of The China-Russia Partnership At The SCO Meeting

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping praised their countries’ “partnership” at the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Astana, Kazakhstan. They highlighted the SCO’s growing membership, which includes Central Asian nations, India, Iran, and prospective member Belarus. Both leaders emphasized the stabilizing role of the China-Russia partnership amidst global uncertainties.

Putin emphasized that the SCO strengthens a multipolar world order without targeting any specific blocs or alliances, but rather serves their nations’ interests. Ahead of a bilateral meeting with Xi, he described their partnership as experiencing its strongest period in history.

Read more: North Korea Convened a Significant Party Meeting Following Putin Visit

Xi acknowledged the challenging international environment and stressed the importance of long-term China-Russia Partnership. He referred to Putin as an “old friend” and discussed future plans for bilateral relations.

The meeting, their second in two months, occurs amid Western pressure on China and Russia’s regional policies. Their previous meeting in Beijing affirmed their commitment to deepening ties while criticizing international organizations like the UN, G20, and NATO.

In total, the leaders have met approximately 40 times, including signing an expansive strategic partnership shortly before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

Putin meets Xi again as leaders hail ties - The Japan Times

The US and Western allies have criticized China for its assertive actions in the Asia Pacific and its policy towards Taiwan, which China claims as its own self-governing island.

Amid its ongoing invasion of Ukraine, Russia has aimed to demonstrate it is not isolated internationally despite facing extensive sanctions and pressure from Western nations.

Joint visual impressions

During the summit, Putin also met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who, along with Saudi Arabia and Egypt, participated as observer states. Turkey, a NATO member with significant economic ties to Moscow, positioned itself as a potential mediator in the Russia-Ukraine conflict.

The Turkish presidency stated Erdogan discussed with Putin the possibility of laying the groundwork for a ceasefire and achieving a fair peace that satisfies both sides.

However, Putin’s spokesperson later dismissed Erdogan’s role as an intermediary in the Russia-Ukraine conflict, stating it was not feasible.

Belarus, a close ally of Russia and from where Russia partially launched its Ukraine invasion, was slated to formally join the SCO on Thursday. Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko highlighted that the SCO demonstrates alternative international platforms and different centers of power to the world in an interview with Kazakh state media.

Since its establishment in 2002, the SCO has seen persistent divergences among member countries’ interests. Moscow and Beijing have vied for influence in Central Asia, encompassing former Soviet republics Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan (Turkmenistan being the exception).

Despite longstanding Russian influence, this resource-rich region has become pivotal for Beijing’s major economic initiatives, such as the Belt and Road infrastructure project aimed at enhancing global trade routes to China.

Nigel Gould-Davies, a senior fellow at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, highlighted to The Associated Press that the SCO faces significant security differences among its members. Nevertheless, he underscored that the organization’s primary value lies in the perception of non-Western nations uniting together.