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Xi’s visit to Moscow begins new era

As Xi visits Putin in Moscow, relations between China and Russia begin a “new era.”

Days after receiving an international arrest warrant for Putin, Xi and Putin sign a document establishing their “no limits” alliance.

While the two leaders called for “responsible conversation” to end the Ukraine conflict, Chinese President Xi Jinping claimed he and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin signed an accord ushering in a “new era” of cooperation.

“We signed a statement on enhancing the strategic partnership and bilateral ties which are entering a new era,” Xi said after meetings with Putin in the Kremlin on Tuesday.

He went on to say that closer cooperation between China and Russia was necessary to advance stronger “practical cooperation”.

Putin responded by stating that “all agreements have been reached” and that fostering commercial ties between Beijing and Moscow was a “priority” for Russia.

The Chinese leader arrived in Moscow days after Putin was granted an arrest warrant by the International Criminal Court (ICC) for crimes committed in the neighboring nation, where Russian forces have made little headway in recent months while incurring significant losses.

The discussions were meant to solidify the “no limits” alliance that the two presidents declared in February of last year, just over three weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine.

The Chinese president spoke on the violence and stated that Beijing “led by the ideals of the United Nations… and urge a peaceful settlement” of the fighting in Ukraine.

He continued, “We are always in favor of communication and peace.

a consensus statement

The West was accused of undermining global stability and invading the Asia-Pacific region, among other usual charges, in a joint declaration.

Putin stated that a Chinese proposal to end the conflict may serve as the foundation for a peace agreement, but that Kyiv and the West were not yet prepared.

When the people in the West and Kyiv are prepared for a peaceful resolution, we think that many of the provisions of the peace plan put forth by China are in line with Russian ideas and can be used as the foundation for one. But as of now, we haven’t noticed any such willingness on their end,” Putin remarked.

China’s 12-point document proposal, which calls for a de-escalation and eventual ceasefire in Ukraine, was vague about how to put an end to the fighting.

A truce would lock in Russian territory gains and give Putin’s army more time to recover, according to the United States, which has dismissed the notion in light of Beijing’s failure to denounce Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. In response to the meeting, the White House criticized China’s stance as being biased and urged Beijing to put pressure on Russia to leave Ukraine’s sovereign land in order to put an end to the war.

After their meeting, Putin blasted the West for battling “to the last Ukrainian” and lauded China and Russia’s expanding economic, energy, and political connections.

China’s “neutral posture” on Ukraine was underlined by Xi, who described his discussions with Putin as “open and amicable” and encouraged communication.

Although Kyiv had praised China’s diplomatic efforts, it also emphasized the significance of Ukraine’s territorial integrity and demanded that Russia withdraw its soldiers from the country.

According to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy, Kiev had urged Beijing to join a Ukrainian peace plan to halt Russia’s war in Ukraine, but it was still awaiting a response.

gas, the internet

Also, the deal accelerated construction of the Power of Siberia 2 pipeline, which would transport 50 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas annually from Russia to China via Mongolia.

Putin declared that Moscow was prepared to increase oil supplies to Beijing if all agreements on a proposed pipeline to transport Russian gas had been reached between Russia, China, and Mongolia.

Russia wants to displace Europe as its top gas consumer, which has increased the urgency of building the pipeline.

The two presidents also talked about the internet, and according to TASS, they agreed that they oppose military of information and communication technologies and support multilateral, equal, and transparent control of the Internet.

The agreement states that “[they] support construction of a multilateral, egalitarian, and transparent global management system of the Internet with the support of sovereignty and security of all countries in this domain.” TASS reported this from the accord.

“Endless opportunities”

Following the meetings, Putin toast the “prosperity” of the Russian and Chinese peoples at a formal supper.

“I am confident that Chinese-Russian collaboration has genuinely limitless possibilities and prospects,” he declared.

In his struggle against what he perceives as a hostile West determined to hand Russia a “strategic defeat,” Putin greatly benefited from Xi’s state visit.

It was “quite evident that China and Russia are collaborating on a variety of fronts,” Samuel Ramani, an associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI), told Al Jazeera, despite the fact that Tuesday’s pact did not constitute an alliance.

A rare, unscheduled visit by the Japanese prime minister to Kyiv just before the meeting between Xi and Putin highlighted Tokyo’s support for Kiev in its struggle against Russia’s incursion. Zelenskyy published video of him introducing Fumio Kishida, the Japanese foreign minister, whom the Ukrainian president referred to as “a very formidable defender of the world order and a lifelong friend of Ukraine.”

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