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Russia’s Putin expresses gratitude to China’s Xi for Ukraine peace plan

BEIJING (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Poutine and Chinese leader Xi Jinping on Thursday, they reaffirmed their “limitless” partnership This situation has worsened as both countries face growing tensions with the West and criticize US military alliances in Asia and the Pacific region.

At their summit in Beijing, Putin thanked Xi for Chinese proposals to end the war in Ukrainewhich have been rejected by Ukraine and its Western supporters as largely in line with the Kremlin line.

Putin’s two-day state visit to one of his strongest allies and trading partners comes as Russian forces are on the move. launch an offensive in the Kharkiv region of northeastern Ukraine in the most significant border incursion since the large-scale invasion began on February 24, 2022.

China claims to take a neutral stance in the conflict, but it has supported the Kremlin’s claims that Russia was incited to attack Ukraine by the West, and it continues to do so. supply key components which Moscow needs for weapons production.

China, which has not criticized the invasion, proposed a broadly worded peace plan in 2023, calling for a ceasefire and direct talks between Moscow and kyiv. The plan was rejected by both Ukraine and the West because it did not call on Russia to leave occupied parts of Ukraine.

AP correspondent Karen Chammas reports from a summit between Chinese and Russian leaders.

China also gave a rhetorical nod to Russian discourse on Nazism in Ukraine, with a joint statement Thursday that Moscow and Beijing should defend the post-World War II order and “severely condemn the glorification or even attempts to revive Nazism and militarism.”

Putin cited the “denazification” of Ukraine as the main goal of military action, falsely characterizing the government of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, who is Jewish and lost loved ones in the Holocaust, as neo-Nazi.

Russian President Vladimir Putin leads a meeting with new cabinet members at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (Vyacheslav Prokofyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

Russian President Vladimir Putin leads a meeting with new cabinet members at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Tuesday, May 14, 2024. (Vyacheslav Prokofyev, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

FILE - Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during a toast at a state dinner, at the Elysée in Paris, Monday, May 6, 2024. Russian President Vladimir Putin said his regime was ready to negotiate on the conflict in Ukraine in an interview with Chinese.  media on the eve of a visit to its partner Beijing, which supported Moscow in its large-scale invasion of its neighbor.  (Ludovic Marin, Pool via AP, File)

FILE – Chinese President Xi Jinping speaks during a toast at a state dinner, at the Elysée in Paris, Monday, May 6, 2024. Russian President Vladimir Putin said his regime was ready to negotiate on the conflict in Ukraine in an interview with Chinese. media on the eve of a visit to its partner Beijing, which supported Moscow in its large-scale invasion of its neighbor. (Ludovic Marin, Pool via AP, File)

The largely symbolic and ceremonial visit emphasized the partnership between two countries that both face challenges in their relations with the United States and Europe.

“Both sides want to show that despite what is happening globally, despite the pressure that both sides are under from the United States, the two sides are not about to turn their backs on each other any time soon,” said Hoo Tiang Boon, who studies Chinese foreign affairs. politics at Nanyang Technological University in Singapore.

While Putin and Xi have said they seek to end the war, they offered no new proposals in their public remarks.

“China hopes for Europe’s early return to peace and stability and will continue to play a constructive role in this regard,” Xi said in a prepared speech to the media at Beijing’s Great Hall of the People. His words echoed what China had said when it proposed a vast peace plan.

Previously, Putin was welcomed to Tiananmen Square with military pomp. After a day in Beijing, the Russian leader arrived in Harbin, where he was scheduled to attend several events on Friday.

On the eve of his visit, Putin said the Chinese proposal could “lay the foundation for a political and diplomatic process that would take into account Russia’s security concerns and help achieve long-term sustainable peace.”

Zelenskyy said any negotiations must include the restoration of Ukraine’s territorial integrity, the withdrawal of Russian troops, the release of all prisoners, the creation of a court for those responsible for the aggression and guarantees of security for Ukraine.

After the latest Russian offensive in Ukraine last week, the war is in a critical phase as the Ukrainian army is exhausted. waiting for new supplies anti-aircraft missiles and artillery shells from the United States after months of delay.

The joint statement from China and Russia also criticized US foreign policy at length, attacking alliances formed by the United States, which the statement called a “Cold War mentality.”

China and Russia have also accused the United States of deploying land-based intermediate-range missile systems in the Asia-Pacific region under the pretext of joint exercises with its allies. They said U.S. actions in Asia were “shifting the balance of power” and “endangering the security of all countries in the region.”

The joint statement demonstrates China’s support for Russia.

China is “trying to give face and respect to Russia without saying anything specific or committing to anything,” said Susan Thornton, a former diplomat and senior fellow at the Paul Tsai China Center at Yale Law. School.

The meeting was a further affirmation of the “no-holds-barred” friendly relationship that China and Russia signed in 2022, just before Moscow invaded Ukraine.

Since then, Russia has become increasingly economically dependent on China, with Western sanctions cutting off its access to much of the international trading system. Growing trade between China and Russia, totaling $240 billion last year, has helped the country mitigate some of the worst impacts of sanctions.

Moscow has diverted most of its energy exports to China and relied on Chinese companies to import high-tech components for Russian military industries to circumvent Western sanctions.

“President Putin and I agree that we should actively seek points of convergence of interests of the two countries, develop each other’s advantages and deepen the integration of interests, realizing each other’s achievements” , Mr. Xi said.

US State Department deputy spokesperson Vedant Patel said China cannot “have it both ways.”

“You can’t want to deepen relations with Europe… while continuing to fuel the biggest threat to European security in a long time,” Patel said.

Xi congratulated Putin on the launch of his fifth term and celebrated the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the former Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China, established following a civil war in 1949. Putin eliminated all major political opponents and faced no no real challenge in the March elections.

“In a famous song from that time, 75 years ago – it is still played today – there is a phrase that has become a slogan: ‘Russians and Chinese are brothers forever,'” said Poutine.

Military ties between Russia and China grew stronger during the war. They have held a series of joint war games in recent years.

China remains a major market for the Russian military, while massively expanding its domestic defensive industries, including building aircraft carriers and nuclear submarines.

Putin has previously said that Russia shares highly sensitive military technologies with China, which has helped significantly strengthen its defense capability.

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Huizhong Wu reported from Bangkok. Yu Bing and Wanqing Chen in Beijing, Christopher Bodeen in Taipei, Jim Heintz and Dasha Litvinova in Tallinn, Estonia, and Ellen Knickmeyer in Washington contributed to this report.

News Source : apnews.com
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