Russian-Chinese Summit Means For The Rest Of The World

Russian-Chinese Summit Means For The Rest Of The World

March 23, 2023 - 7:26 am

The significance of Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping's meeting in Moscow

The Chinese President, Xi Jinping, visited Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin on his first trip outside following his unusual third term reelection. Only a few days have passed since the International Criminal Court demanded that Putin be arrested for war crimes committed in Ukraine before the visit. The "no boundaries" coalition was to be strengthened as a result of the discussions. The significance of the meeting enters a ‘new era’  for the rest of the world. Meanwhile, Japan's Prime Minister Fumio Kishida came to Kyiv from New Delhi on Tuesday with a message of solidarity and support for President Volodymyr Zelenskyy. 

What are the Takeaways of the Meeting?

For the two countries, the visit was more symbolic than substantive. The discussion of China's peace initiative for Ukraine, intentions for a closer political and economic engagement, and a proposal to start a natural gas trade between the two nations were all topics that were anticipated. Russia and China pledged to "further develop military mutual trust" in a joint statement, citing increasing military exchanges and cooperation as well as frequent joint marine and aircraft patrols. The two countries have continued to conduct joint drills all over the world since the war began. More than a dozen agreements were reached at the meeting's conclusion, strengthening collaboration in everything from trade and technology to official propaganda. 

What is the Purpose of Xi Jinping’s Trip to Meet Putin?

Beijing is interested in the ties with Russia for a number of reasons. One, maintaining outreach and friendly ties with Moscow is crucial for Beijing from a security perspective. Russia continues to be China's closest neighbour, a significant supplier of military technology, and a big player in the unstable former Soviet states that border China's western region. In addition, Russia is currently a significant supplier of fossil fuel energy and a market for Chinese industry and technology. Importantly, Xi Jinping views Vladimir Putin as an ally in the fight against American dominance in the world and liberal Western ideologies. Xi believes it is important to demonstrate to the non-Western world that there is an alternative to American dominance and worldviews.

Alignment with the New Global Order and Against the US

According to experts, the conference was not motivated by a desire to end the crisis in Ukraine, but rather by China and Russia's desire to forge their alliance against the US and build a global structure that is more suited to their own, more dictatorial goals. After a state dinner with Putin on Tuesday night, Xi sent a farewell message that reaffirmed his belief that the balance of power in the world is shifting. According to Xi, this is a time when China is advancing and the West is dwindling. The two authoritarian presidents agreed to cooperate in order to "safeguard the international system" and the UN, where they have a history of vetoing resolutions, even those directed against countries like North Korea.They demanded the establishment of a "multipolar world," a catchphrase for a framework devoid of so-called Western principles and values. They made some jabs at Washington as well. The joint statement demonstrated a generalisation of Chinese and Russian worldviews and methods for dealing with numerous global concerns. Regarding the identification of the United States as a significant security danger, it is extremely specific and unequivocal. 

Consequences for the Rest of the World?

The visit of Mr. Xi has been criticised by Western authorities, who contend that China is essentially giving Russia "diplomatic cover" to conduct further atrocities. The possibility that Xi would continue calls for a ceasefire in Ukraine would be advantageous to Moscow by enabling the Russian military to remain on Ukrainian soil worries the United States. Given the timing of the visit, the Chinese leader's personal endorsement of Putin's reelection is even more significant. China has offered a solution to the Ukraine problem, but it has mostly been rejected in the West as a ruse to buy Putin time to reassemble his forces and tighten his hold on occupied territory. 

The Way Forward of Russian-Chinese Summit

The visit of Mr. Xi is "a significant manifestation of Russian-Chinese friendship, endorsing Putin." It's unlikely that this meeting will result in any significant changes. They will continue their partnership as long as their strategic objectives align. The rest of the world has little choice but to brace itself for increased tension and a potentially protracted battle between Russia and Ukraine.