Xi, Puting close ranks against ‘regional security threats’
Beijing, Feb 4 (EFE).- China and Russia are set to deepen their strategic coordination and join hands to deal with “external interference” and threats to regional security, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Friday during a meeting with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin.
Xi said that China and Russia respect each other’s sovereignty, security and development, and were looking to tackle “interference and regional threats” together.
This was the leaders’ first meeting in two years – amid rising tensions with the United States – the Chinese foreign ministry highlighted in a statement.
Putin who arrived in Beijing on Friday to attend the inauguration ceremony of the 2022 Winter Olympics, said that bilateral ties had reached “unprecedented” proximity, adding that China was Russia’s most important strategic ally and a “like-minded friend.”
With the Ukraine crisis and tensions over Taiwan – which is claimed by Beijing – being part of the agenda, Xi stressed the importance of coming together in strategic coordination and defending “international equality and justice.”
The two sides also issued a joint statement over their international ties entering a “new era,” and to “elaborate their common stances over views on democracy, security and order. ”
Xi said the two countries had actively participated in reforms and building the global governance system, practiced multilateralism apart from safeguarding the “true spirit of democracy,” and that they would play a key role in unifying the international community.
He emphasized that the Shanghai Cooperation Organization should adopt a “long-term perspective” and move towards the necessary direction to protect the security and common interests of member states.
On his part, Putin hailed mutual cooperation as a “model for international relations in the 21st century.”
The Russian leader said that the two countries should boost cooperation in energy projects, especially through a larger supply of natural gas from Russia to China.
On the sidelines, the two leaders agreed to launch a roadmap to ensure “high quality” bilateral trade – which stood at record $150 billion last year – apart from increasing cooperation in areas such as agriculture, digital economy and health.
Putin hailed Beijing for hosting the Winter Olympics with high-quality arrangements, and said that he was joining the inauguration as a mark of the close ties between him and Xi. EFE