Putin admits China has ‘questions and concerns’ about Russia’s faltering invasion of Ukraine.



CNN

Russian President Vladimir Putin praised China’s “balanced stance” on Thursday Ukraine warWhile he acknowledged that Beijing had “questions and concerns” about the invasion, he appeared to tacitly acknowledge their differing views on a sustained military offensive.

Putin made the comments when he met Chinese President Xi Jinping in person for the first time at a regional summit in Uzbekistan a few days later. Russia suffered a major military setback In Ukraine. Russian troops, having lost more territory in one week than they gained in five months, are retreating en masse.

China has yet to condemn Russia’s aggression against Ukraine Stepping up economic assistance to its neighborsBoosting bilateral trade to record levels is a boon for Russian business amid Western sanctions.

“We highly appreciate the balanced position of our Chinese friends regarding the Ukrainian crisis. We understand your questions and concerns in this regard,” Putin said in the opening speech of the meeting. We talked before.

According to Chinese state media, China said it was ready to work with Russia, “provide strong support to each other on issues related to our respective core interests” and deepen cooperation in trade, agriculture and connectivity.

The Chinese leader also said that both countries should do it Take more effort to accept responsibilities “In a chaotic, intertwined world.”

The two authoritarian leaders have emerged as close partners in recent years, fueled by growing conflict with the West and strong personal ties.

China has offered indirect support to Russia over Ukraine, while Moscow has backed Beijing and criticized Washington over US Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taipei in August. Beijing responded to the trip by conducting unprecedented military exercises around the self-ruled democratic island, which it claims as its own territory.

In their meeting on Thursday, Putin condemned the United States for what he called “provocations” in the Taiwan Strait and criticized what he called efforts to “create a polar world.” Those efforts, he said, “have recently taken an ugly shape and are completely unacceptable to most states on the planet.”

The two are holding talks on the sidelines of the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a regional security-focused grouping that includes India, Pakistan and four Central Asian countries.

In a symbolic show of force and unity, the Russian and Chinese navies conducted joint patrols and exercises in the Pacific Ocean hours before their leaders’ meeting, Russia’s Defense Ministry said.

At the start of Thursday’s meeting, Putin emphasized deepening economic ties between the two countries, with bilateral trade exceeding $140 billion last year. “I am confident that we will reach new record levels by the end of the year, and in the near future, as agreed, we will raise our annual trade revenue to $200 billion or more,” he said.

Putin last met Xi when he visited the Chinese capital for the Winter Olympics in February this year. It was at that meeting that the two leaders outlined their “Partnership Without Limits” and released a 5,000-word document, expressing a shared opposition to “NATO’s expansion.”

For Xi, meanwhile, Thursday’s meeting comes as part of his first trip outside China’s borders in more than two years, and just weeks before he is set to receive a rule-breaking third term at a key political gathering in Beijing – a move that would have He cemented his status as China’s most powerful leader in decades.

China has turned increasingly inward since the start of the pandemic, and continues to maintain a strict zero-covid policy that restricts outbound travel.

Xi’s trip to Central Asia marks his return to the world stage and gives him an opportunity to show that despite rising tensions with the West, China still has friends and partners and is ready to reassert its global influence.

At his first stop, G visited KazakhstanIn 2013 he unveiled his flagship Belt and Road Initiative, which stretches from East Asia to Europe.

In a meeting with Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Togayev on Wednesday, China said it wanted to work with Kazakhstan to “be pioneers in Belt and Road cooperation.”

Xi also told Dogaye that “China will always support Kazakhstan in maintaining national independence, sovereignty and territorial integrity.”

The Chinese leader visited Uzbekistan on Wednesday evening and met the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev. He also met the presidents of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan on Thursday.

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