Xi told Putin in a birthday call that China will support Russia in security

Hong Kong

Chinese President Xi Jinping reiterated his support for Moscow on issues of “sovereignty and security” in a call with his counterpart Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, as he backed his support for the two countries’ partnership despite the global backlash against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Speaking on his 69th birthday, Xi also pledged to deepen strategic coordination between the two countries, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

A separate statement from the Kremlin said the two leaders affirmed that relations between their countries were “at an all-time high” and reaffirmed their commitment to “consistently deepen the comprehensive partnership.”

This call is believed to be the second time the two leaders have spoken since Russia invaded Ukraine. They also spoke just days after Moscow launched what it insists it calls a “special military operation.”

China has also refrained from referring to Russia’s actions as an invasion and has agreed a fine line on the issue. She has portrayed herself as calling for peace and support for world order, while refusing to condemn Russia’s actions. It has also used its state media to mimic the Kremlin’s lines that blame the United States and NATO for the crisis.

During the call on Wednesday, Xi stressed that China has always “independently assessed the situation” in Ukraine and called on “all parties” to press for a “proper settlement of the Ukraine crisis” – echoing the echo he used in a March call with US President Joe Biden. .

He said China was “ready to continue playing its role” in promoting a “proper solution” for Ukraine.

The Kremlin’s summary of the invitation took this position a step further, saying: “The President of China noted the legitimacy of the measures taken by Russia to protect core national interests in the face of challenges to its security caused by external forces.”

Wednesday’s call was also an opportunity for the two leaders to check on the growing business relationship.

Earlier this year, weeks before the Russian invasion, the two leaders in a face to face meeting They said their countries had a “borderless” partnership and pledged to boost trade.

“Since the beginning of this year, bilateral relations have maintained a sound development momentum in the face of global upheavals and transformations,” Xi said in the phone call on Wednesday.

“The Chinese side stands ready to work with the Russian side to push for a steady and long-term development of bilateral pragmatic cooperation,” Xi said, referring to the “steady progress” of their trade relations and the opening last week of The first cross-border highway bridge over the Amur River.

Kremlin readings said that the two sides agreed to expand cooperation in the fields of energy, finance, manufacturing and other areas, “taking into account the global economic situation, which has become more complicated due to the policy of illegal sanctions pursued by the West.”

Countries also pledge to work together to enhance communication and coordination in international bodies such as the United Nations – where countries often vote as a single bloc.

Commenting on the countries’ common goal of pushing back what they see as the global hegemony of the United States, Xi said.

China refuses to condemn Russia’s actions in Ukraine

The call was not the first time that Xi and Putin – two powerful men who came together due to mutual mistrust in the West – had shared each other’s birthdays.

In 2013, Xi gave Putin a birthday cake and the two drank vodka together to celebrate the Russian leader’s 61st birthday during a conference in Indonesia. Xi later celebrated his 66th birthday during the 2019 Tajikistan summit with Putin who surprised him Ice cream, cake and champagne.

It is also believed that their personal relationship, in which Xi called Putin his “best friend and bosom,” reinforces the dynamics of strengthening their relationship at the national level.

Summing up the two leaders’ recent contact, the Kremlin noted that the conversation took place in a “traditional, friendly and warm atmosphere.”