Putin to Xi: Western attempts to create a 'unipolar world' condemned
The Russian president meets with his Chinese counterpart on the sidelines of the SCO summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, to discuss international matters.
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday criticized Western attempts to create a unipolar world, as he called it, and praised China's "balanced" approach toward the war in Ukraine, in a meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Uzbekistan.
This would mark the first one-on-one discussion between the two leaders since the start of the war in Ukraine; a meeting at the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit in Samarkand.
Putin, in this context, remarked, "Attempts to create a unipolar world have recently acquired an absolutely ugly form and are completely unacceptable."
"We highly appreciate the balanced position of our Chinese friends in connection with the Ukrainian crisis," Putin told Xi.
"We understand your concerns," Putin said, without specifying the issues that China may have raised regarding Ukraine.
"For our part, we adhere to the principle of one China. We condemn the provocation of the US and their satellites in the Taiwan Strait," Putin said.
Furthermore, Putin called on the "global strengthening of the SCO," asserting that the meeting would definitely help in "strengthening the Russian-Chinese partnership."
In another context, Russian President Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Mongolian President Ukhnaagiin Khurelsukh that the share of mutual settlements in national currencies between Russia and China rose to 27.5% in the first quarter of this year.
"Today, Mr. Xi Jinping and I stated with satisfaction that in the first quarter of this year, the share of settlements in national currencies in Russia's trade with China increased to 27.5 percent," Putin said.
Putin at the Russia-China-Mongolia summit also called for the development of settlements in national currency and encouraged business cooperation.
Yesterday, Xi arrived in Kazakhstan, aiming to also visit its neighbor, Uzbekistan, in time for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.
Beijing, throughout the war, has not supplied Russia with weapons but has criticized West-led sanctions against Moscow. Russia and China have sought stronger cooperation to face the West's sanctions which have been imposed on both countries, with both relying less and less on the US dollar for trade and commerce.
On Tuesday, China's Foreign Ministry said Xi will discuss regional and international issues with Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and Uzbek leader Shavkat Miziyoyev.
Kazakhstan's Ambassador to China, Shakhrat Nuryshev, told CGTN that a series of documents have been prepared for Xi to sign, in addition to an outline that will be provided for the development of ties in the next three decades, and an agreement on economy and trade.
A professor at the department of politics and international relations at Lanzhou University, Zhu Yongbiao, noted that Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan both have supported Beijing's Belt and Road Initiative.
“With the Ukraine war … and potential instability in China’s western region, the SCO and Central Asian countries have become more important in the eyes of China,” he said.
From the Chinese perspective
Russian President Vladimir Putin acknowledged on Thursday that Xi Jinping had worries and questions about the state of affairs in Ukraine, but he commended the Chinese president for taking a "balanced" stance.
After Putin predicted that American efforts to forge a unipolar world would fail, Xi said he was delighted to see "my old friend" again during their first face-to-face meeting since the war.
"In the face of changes in the world, in our times and of history, China is willing to work with Russia to play a leading role in demonstrating the responsibility of major powers, and to instill stability and positive energy into a world in turmoil," Xi told Putin.
Russia and China should protect the interests of regional security, as well as the interests of developing countries, Chinese President Xi Jinping said Thursday during his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
"[The parties] should protect the interests of regional security, as well as the interests of developing countries and emerging markets," Xi Jinping said, as quoted by CCTV.
The Chinese President also stressed that Beijing and Moscow should strengthen coordination in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), BRICS, and other international organizations.
"The sides need to strengthen coordination within the framework of the SCO, the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), BRICS and other international organizations and mechanisms, strengthen solidarity and mutual trust between all sides, expand practical cooperation," Xi said.
On issues affecting both countries, Xi said China is ready to offer any support necessary for Russia.
"China is ready to provide mutual and effective support to Russia on issues affecting the fundamental interests of the two countries, to deepen practical cooperation in such areas as trade, agriculture, communications," Xi was quoted by CCTV as saying.
The last time Xi and Putin met in person, they declared a "no limits" partnership and inked a promise to collaborate more against the West.
Beijing is still concerned about the effects on the world economy and has taken care to avoid providing Russia with tangible support that would lead to Western economic sanctions against China.