Putin and Xi pledge deeper co-operation and accuse US of undermining global stability

Russian president is on a two-day visit to China, with Chinese leader calling for a political solution to Ukraine

Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping have reaffirmed the partnership between Russia and China as they accused the United States of undermining global stability and security. In a joint statement following two hours of talks in Beijing, the leaders pledged to deepen their strategic relationship and intensify military co-operation.

“The United States still thinks in terms of the Cold War and is guided by the logic of bloc confrontation, putting the security of ‘narrow groups’ above regional security and stability, which creates a security threat for all countries in the region,” the statement said.

Mr Xi welcomed Mr Putin with full military honours at Tiananmen Square, including a 21-gun salute and a march-past of goose-stepping soldiers from the People’s Liberation Army (PLA). Mr Putin’s two-day visit to China is his first trip abroad since he was inaugurated for a fifth term as Russian president.

Mr Xi renewed his call for a negotiated settlement of the war in Ukraine but he avoided criticising the invasion or Russia’s conduct of the war. China is officially neutral in the conflict but has offered Moscow economic and diplomatic support since the invasion in February 2022.


“China and Russia believe that the Ukraine crisis must be resolved by political means,” Mr Xi said.

“China has been consistent and clear on this matter by advocating for compliance with the norms and principles set forth in the UN Charter, respecting state sovereignty and territorial integrity for all countries, while taking into consideration their reasonable security concerns. This approach aims to shape a new balanced, effective and sustainable security architecture. China hopes that peace and stability will return to the European Continent soon and is ready to constructively contribute to making this happen.”

More than 50 countries have agreed to send delegations to a Ukraine peace conference in Switzerland next month but China has yet to say if it will take part. Russia has not been invited and the Kremlin on Thursday dismissed the conference as a futile exercise in “empty scholasticism” with no prospects for any tangible result.

In their joint statement, Mr Xi and Mr Putin condemned Aukus, Washington’s nuclear submarine alliance with Australia and Britain and accused the US of operating a policy of “dual containment” against China and Russia.

“Both sides oppose cobbling together closed, exclusive group structures in the Asia-Pacific region, especially military alliances targeting any third party ... Both sides pointed out that the US ‘Indo-Pacific Strategy’ and Nato’s disruptive moves in the Asia-Pacific region have had a negative impact on peace and stability in the region,” they said.

“Both sides oppose the hegemonic actions of the United States to change the balance of power in Northeast Asia by expanding military power and assembling military blocs. The US adheres to the Cold War mentality and the mode of camp confrontation, prioritising the security of ‘small cliques’ above regional security and stability, and endangering the security of all countries in the region. The US should cease such actions.”

Denis Staunton

Denis Staunton

Denis Staunton is China Correspondent of The Irish Times