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Putin, Xi issue joint demands to Biden, NATO

China's President Xi Jinping, left, shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Mikhail Metzel/Tass/Abaca Press/TNS)
February 04, 2022

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Communist China leader Xi Jinping issued a joint statement to the United States and the West on Friday ahead of the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympics.

In a statement released by the Kremlin, the two nations – which referred to themselves as “the sides” – criticized President Joe Biden’s Indo-Pacific strategy as having a “negative impact” on “peace and stability in the region” and called on the U.S. to abandon it.

“The sides believe that the U.S. withdrawal from the Treaty on the Elimination of Intermediate-Range and Shorter-Range Missiles, the acceleration of research and the development of intermediate-range and shorter-range ground-based missiles and the desire to deploy them in the Asia-Pacific and European regions, as well as their transfer to the allies, entail an increase in tension and distrust, increase risks to international and regional security, lead to the weakening of international non-proliferation and arms control system, undermining global strategic stability,” the statement read.

“The [sides] call on the United States to respond positively to the Russian initiative and abandon its plans to deploy intermediate-range and shorter-range ground-based missiles in the Asia-Pacific region and Europe. The sides will continue to maintain contacts and strengthen coordination on this issue.”

Russia and China also called on NATO to stop all expansion, to “abandon its ideologized cold war approaches,” and to “respect the sovereignty, security and interests of other countries, the diversity of their civilizational, cultural and historical backgrounds, and to exercise a fair and objective attitude towards the peaceful development of other States.”

“Russia and China have made consistent efforts to build an equitable, open and inclusive security system in the Asia-Pacific Region (APR) that is not directed against third countries and that promotes peace, stability and prosperity,” the two world leaders claimed.

According to Reuters, the two nations also signed a 30-year contract to have Russia supply China with gas through a new pipeline.

The deal comes after President Joe Biden waived sanctions against the Russian company responsible for the Nord Stream 2 pipeline last year because the pipeline was “almost completely finished.”

“To go ahead and impose sanctions now, I think, would be counterproductive now in terms of our European relations. And they know how strongly I feel,” Biden said at the time, as reported by The New York Post. “And I hope we can work on how they handle it from this point on.”