Putin, Xi cement partnership in face of Western pressure

China backs Russia’s push to get security guarantees from the West, says Kremlin

Russia and China should stand firm in rejecting Western interference and defending each other’s security interests, Presidents Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping agreed in a video call on Wednesday.

Their conversation, eight days after Mr. Putin spoke to U.S. President Joe Biden in a similar format, underscored how shared hostility to the West is bringing Moscow and Beijing closer together.

“At present, certain international forces under the guise of ‘democracy’ and ‘human rights’ are interfering in the internal affairs of China and Russia, and brutally trampling on international law and recognised norms of international relations,” China’s state-run Xinhua news agency quoted Mr. Xi as saying.

“China and Russia should increase their joint efforts to more effectively safeguard the security interests of both parties.”

Kremlin aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters that Mr. Xi had offered support to Mr. Putin for his push to obtain binding security guarantees for Russia from the West, saying he understood Moscow’s concerns.

He said the pair also expressed their “negative view” of the creation of new military alliances such as the AUKUS partnership between Australia, Britain and the United States and the Indo-Pacific ‘Quad’ of Australia, India, Japan and the U.S.

Mounting pressure

The call highlighted the ways in which Russia and China are drawing on each other for mutual support at a time of high tension in their relations with the West. China is under pressure over human rights and Russia is accused of threatening behaviour towards Ukraine.

The Kremlin said Mr. Putin briefed Mr. Xi on his conversation with Mr. Biden. “A new model of cooperation has been formed between our countries, based, among other things, on such principles as non-interference in internal affairs and respect for each other’s interests,” Mr. Putin told Mr. Xi.

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