US worries about China-Russia ties as Putin signals Xi visit

  • Putin met with High Ambassador Wang Yi
  • Putin said that Xi will visit Russia
  • Putin: Relations reach “new frontiers”.
  • Wang: Others cannot undermine our relations
  • Wang: Sino-Russian relations are not mutually exclusive

MOSCOW/WASHINGTON, Feb 22 (Reuters) – The United States is concerned about greater coordination between China and Russia, the U.S. State Department said on Wednesday after Russian President Vladimir Putin signaled to China’s Xi Jinping that he was pushing “new frontiers” in relations with Beijing. A visit to his country.

Word of Xi’s visit comes as Washington has said China is considering supplying weapons to Russia’s war in Ukraine, a move that threatens to escalate the conflict between Russia and China on the one hand and between Ukraine and the US-led NATO military alliance. On the other hand.

Putin welcomed China’s top diplomat, Wang Yi, to the Kremlin on Wednesday, saying bilateral trade was better than expected and would soon reach $200 billion a year, which would be $185 billion in 2022.

“We are waiting for the visit of the President of the People’s Republic of China to Russia, and we agreed on this,” Putin told Wang about Xi.

“Everything is progressing, growing. We are reaching new frontiers,” Putin said.

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US State Department spokesman Ned Price said Wang’s visit to Russia on the one-year anniversary of the war was further evidence of Beijing’s alignment with Moscow.

“We are concerned because these two countries share a vision,” Price told a news conference. “It’s a vision … of an era where big countries can bully small countries, an era where borders can be reshuffled by force, an era where things can be fixed,” he said.

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“We haven’t seen the PRC offer euthanasia to Russia yet, but we don’t believe they’ve taken that off the table,” Price added.

Russia’s Tass news agency quoted Wang – who held a separate meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov – as saying he would “resolutely adhere to an objective and impartial position and play a constructive role in a political solution to the crisis” in Ukraine.

Russia’s foreign ministry said it welcomes China’s more active contribution to resolving the conflict and respects China’s “balanced approach”. But in a separate statement, the ministry said Lavrov and Wang did not discuss the Chinese peace plan.

For Putin, China’s great-power support, amid the biggest confrontation with the West since the height of the Cold War, allows Russia’s isolation in the West to tilt toward Asia.

Wang told Putin that relations between the two countries have withstood a turbulent international environment.

The relationship between China and Russia is not directed against any third party, but “will not succumb to pressure from third parties” – Wang said through an interpreter – a clear jab at the United States.

“We support multi-polarization and democratization in international relations together,” Wang told Putin.

When they met face-to-face with Putin in February 2022, shortly before Russia sent troops into Ukraine, they branded a “no limits” partnership that has fueled concern in the West.

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XI and Putin

Russia is now dependent on Beijing, and a junior partner to a resurgent China that is already a leader in many 21st-century technologies.

US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken warned on Saturday that Wang would face consequences if China provided dangerous support for Russia’s invasion, which Beijing has denied.

After Blinken’s warnings, which he gave without evidence, China said the US was in no position to make demands.

During the conflict in Ukraine, Xi sided with Putin, resisting Western pressure to isolate Moscow. Sino-Russian trade has soared since the invasion, and China is Russia’s largest buyer of oil, one of the main sources of revenue for Moscow’s state treasury.

Reported by Reuters; Editing by Gareth Jones, Michael Martina, David Lungren and Josie Cao

Our Standards: Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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