الأربعاء. مايو 29th, 2024

Introduction:

It is scheduled that the Chinese leader, Xi Jinping, will host the Russian President, Vladimir Putin, in China on Thursday in the second visit of the Russian president in less than a year, in the latest sign of their growing alignment amidst increasing global rifts, as conflicts in Gaza and Ukraine escalate.

The spokesperson for the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Wang Wen, said during a regular press conference in Beijing on Tuesday: “President Xi and President Putin will exchange views on bilateral relations, cooperation in various fields, and international and regional issues of common interest.”

President Putin is expected to arrive in China after more than a week into his new term in office.

A Visit Amid Common International Challenges

The visit of the Russian president, scheduled to take place from May 16 to 17, according to Chinese official media, is in response to the state visit made by Xi to Moscow over a year ago, this time coming months before the U.S. presidential elections, while Washington faces escalating international backlash over its support for the Israeli war in Gaza. The meeting is expected to provide a platform for the two leaders to discuss how all of this can bolster their common ambition in the decline of U.S. power and provide an alternative to it.

The visit also comes at a time when the two leaders work within what observers call a loose but growing coordination of interests between the anti-American states, Iran and North Korea. Western governments believe that Pyongyang, whose economy relies almost entirely on China, assists Russia with war supplies, as well as Tehran, which is economically supported by Russia and China, a strong player in the Middle East conflict.

Amid Washington’s Pressures

Pressure from Washington on Beijing is increasing due to allegations of its support for the Russian defense industry. In Europe, Xi had to overcome sharp tensions in France, while Russia remains China’s main partner on the global stage. During Xi’s meeting with Putin this week, Western threats loom over taking further comprehensive measures against his country if it continues to send certain goods to Russia. The U.S. government says dual-use exports enable Russia to build its defense industry, pointing to a new set of sanctions imposed by the United States targeting Chinese companies and the possibility of more from the European Union.

Xi has intensified his calls to Europe and other countries to help the world avoid a “cold war,” indicating that they resist what Beijing considers American efforts to contain China.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg warned last month that Russia is receiving support in its aggressive war from China, Iran, and North Korea, saying, “We live in a more dangerous world, where powers are increasingly aligning,” adding, “This reminds us that security is not regional, but global, and we must work with partners who share similar thinking around the world to protect and maintain security across the Atlantic.”

Conclusion:

It is unlikely that the “reset” in relations between Moscow and Beijing will lead to a halt in deepening cooperation across a range of areas between the two countries, which conduct regular military exercises and diplomatic exchanges. Analysts say that Beijing’s gains are unlikely to change when it comes to the Russian war.

For “Russia is crucial to China’s grand strategy,” while Beijing does not want escalation, there is a deep interest in ensuring that Russia does not lose the war.

By amine