June 24, 2024

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Russia and China are strengthening the proximity of positions

Russia and China are strengthening the proximity of positions

Last Wednesday, the 22nd, the United Kingdom’s Ministry of Defense alleged that China had begun or planned to begin supplying Russia with lethal weapons for its war in Ukraine. The ministry cites US and British military intelligence but offers no concrete evidence.

“I can announce today that there is evidence of cooperation between Russia and China on the weapons used in Ukraine,” Minister Grant Shabbs told a defense conference in London.

China has repeatedly refused to supply arms to Russia. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin called the British defense minister’s words that China was ready to provide military assistance to Russia in its war against Ukraine “baseless and irresponsible.”

“We condemn the baseless and irresponsible slander against China by a British politician. […] “Shaming China will not help the UK from its predicament over Ukraine, let alone solve the UK’s complex domestic problems,” the spokesman said.

The Chinese representative added that it was Britain, not China, that was “adding fuel to the fire around Ukraine”.

The controversy comes a week after Russian President Vladimir Putin made an official visit to China on May 16 and 17. It was Putin’s first international trip since taking office as the new president, a week after his inauguration.

During Putin’s visit to Beijing, US State Department spokesman Vedant Patel declared that China cannot strengthen ties with the West while supporting Russia. US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken, who visited Beijing last month, expressed concern about China’s support for Russia’s defense sector.

:: In Beijing, Putin praises China’s ‘impartial stance’ in Ukraine war ::

The Russian president was welcomed with military honors in Beijing and met with President Xi Jinping, reaffirming the “boundless partnership” between the two countries. In a symbolic gesture, Putin’s visit came a day after the Russian president’s new cabinet was officially announced. The Russian delegation includes new Defense Minister Andrei Belousov, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and Secretary of the Security Council and former Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu.

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In an interview Brazil indeedAlexei Chigadaev, an expert on Russia and China studies at the University of Leipzig, highlighted that Putin’s visit to China – the second in seven months – did not result in major agreements, but was permeated by a large symbolic nature.

He recalled that the official State Department document that lays out the US foreign policy strategy states that Russia and China are America’s strategic rivals.

“With this in mind, the United States is asking China to put pressure on Russia. The Chinese understand very well that they will be next in this regard. Therefore, Russia is an important techno-military partner. Russia is an important nuclear power, Russia. Still an important world power, it is .is a partner in the Security Council, so military-technical cooperation is very important here, and we realize that Putin is trying to reach agreements in all areas, regardless of political, policy differences, “he analyzes.

One of the main points of the joint statement between Putin and Xi Jinping was about the war in Ukraine. In particular, Putin praised China’s “impartial stance” in the conflict.

“I will certainly inform the President of the People’s Republic of China about the situation surrounding the crisis in Ukraine. We are grateful to our Chinese friends and colleagues for their efforts to resolve this issue. […] The relations between Russia and China are not opportunistic and not against anyone. “Our cooperation in international affairs is one of the stabilizing factors in the international arena,” he highlighted.

After his meeting with Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping backed a quick resolution to the Ukrainian crisis. According to him, “Both sides agree that a political solution to the crisis in Ukraine is the right direction.”

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“The Chinese side looks forward to the speedy restoration of peace and stability on the European continent, and will continue to play a constructive role to that end,” Xi Jinping said.

China presented its war resolution plan on February 24, 2023, one year after Russian intervention in Ukraine. The document provides conditions for accepting a ceasefire, resuming negotiations and ending unilateral sanctions.

For political scientist Alexei Chigadaev, despite all interventions in favor of Putin, China still maintains a neutral position regarding the war in Ukraine. According to him, partnership and rapprochement between the two countries does not constitute a full alliance status.

“In fact, we see that China is not fulfilling its obligations as a true ally. If China is a true ally of Russia, China will provide tanks, military forces, ships, machine guns, planes, etc. But China will not do any of that, because this is a Russian issue, this is ‘ ‘It’s not our war,'” says the analyst.

On the other hand, Chikadev reinforces that Beijing is taking a specific and pragmatic stance on the war, which is of interest to countries in the Global South.

“There is an important understanding that it is necessary to take a position that benefits China first, and one of the agreements is that Russia should participate in the peace talks. [sobre a Ucrânia]. This is an alternative and important position, which is interesting for countries in the Global South, and may also be interesting for Europeans, but no one is talking about it openly yet,” he says.

Ukraine rejects China’s peace plan The country argued that the initiative did not include the withdrawal of Russian troops from Ukrainian territory as a condition.

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Russia was not invited to a peace summit on the conflict in Switzerland in June. China has yet to confirm its participation, but Moscow’s absence from the talks is expected to be a reason for Xi Jinping’s absence.

“China says that the war must end immediately and stop [a guerra] At current levels. This is the first point. Many may not like this, but this is an understandable position, ”says Alexey Chikadaev.

According to the researcher from the University of Leipzig, China’s position on the demand for a quick cease-fire and the request for Russia to participate in the peace talks carries weight in the international arena, but, at the same time, reflects the limitation that China wants. To intervene in the Ukrainian crisis.

“The second level [da China] Negotiations without Russia are useless. There is certainly a logic to this, but it requires a certain determination and international weight to announce it, and China announced it. And I don’t think we should expect too much from China. “China has laid out its peace plan, China is insisting on Russia’s participation, and I think that’s the most we can expect,” he added.

Editing: Rodrigo Durão Coelho