Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping met in Moscow on Monday to discuss leading a new international order absent of American unilateral rule.
Putin referred to Xi as a “dear friend” coming out of the pair’s dinner Monday evening in Xi’s first trip outside China since winning a third term as China’s president, Reuters reported. State media reported the two met for roughly four and a half hours Monday, with further discussions involving additional officials scheduled for Tuesday.
BREAKING: Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives in Russia for a three-day state visit, when he’s expected to deliver a strong message of support for Vladimir Putin https://t.co/ZXpEoSOF9H pic.twitter.com/vNKf5gjy8x
— Bloomberg (@business) March 20, 2023
“The international community has recognized that no country is superior to others, no model of governance is universal, and no single country should dictate the international order,” the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) Foreign Ministry said of the meeting in a statement. “The common interest of all humankind is in a world that is united and peaceful, rather than divided and volatile.”
The Biden administration condemned Xi’s visit claiming it provides diplomatic cover for Putin to commit additional alleged atrocities in Ukraine days after a warrant for his arrest was issued by the International Criminal Court, CNN reported.
The CCP also accused the West of helping escalate the war in Ukraine, referring to an “all-around escalation” of the crisis, according to the Foreign Ministry’s statement. It referred to China’s position paper issued last month, which calls for a ceasefire in the conflict, a proposal that has been rejected by the U.S. and Ukraine. Putin said he views China’s proposal favorably in televised remarks Monday.
Putin also told Xi that China’s progress economically and diplomatically provokes “envy” around the world, perhaps in another veiled criticism of the United States, CNN reported. (RELATED: ‘Why Did President Biden Let This Happen?’: Doocy Presses Kirby On Biden’s Handling Of Russia, China Relationship)
Beijing and Moscow have grown closer in the time since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with China serving as a key diplomatic and economic lifeline for Russia in the face of Western sanctions and international isolation. A little over a year ago, the two leaders referred to their “no limits” partnership, although National Security Council spokesman John Kirby said Monday the pairing is more a marriage of convenience than affection.
Xi has fashioned himself as a peacemaker in recent weeks releasing the Ukraine ceasefire proposal and brokering a deal that saw Iran and Saudi Arabia re-establish formal relations after a seven-year hiatus. The U.S. said it welcomed any efforts to bring more stability to the Middle East, but has criticized efforts by China to engage in the Ukraine peace process as unserious and biased.
China has not referred to Russia’s invasion as such, or as a war, instead opting to use the Kremlin’s propagandistic terminology referring to the conflict as a special military operation. The State Department has warned in recent weeks that it is concerned China may be close to sending lethal aid to Russia to assist its fight in Ukraine, although evidence of that happening has not yet emerged.