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Putin, Xi meet, trash US in diplo-speak, vow to combat US in favor of ‘core interests’

China's President Xi Jinping, left, shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin. (Mikhail Metzel/Tass/Abaca Press/TNS)
September 15, 2022

Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned the United States’ so-called “provocations” in the Taiwan Strait during a meeting with Chinese Communist Party (CCP) leader Xi Jinping on Thursday. Xi also said he wants to work with Russia to extend “strong support to each other on issues concerning their respective core interests.”

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During the meeting, Putin accused the U.S. of attempting to “create a unipolar world,” adding that those attempts have “recently taken an ugly shape and are absolutely unacceptable to most states on the planet,” CNN reported

The meeting was held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan at the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. It marked the first in-person discussion between the two authoritarian leaders since Russia invaded Ukraine earlier this year. Putin praised China’s “balanced position” on the conflict.

“We highly appreciate the balanced position of our Chinese friends in connection with the Ukrainian crisis. We understand your questions and concerns in this regard,” Putin said. “During today’s meeting, of course, we will explain in detail our position on this issue, although we have spoken about this before.”

Chinese state-run media reported that Xi expressed interest in working with Russia to extend “strong support to each other on issues concerning their respective core interests.” Xi also said China wants increased cooperation between the two nations in “trade, agriculture and interconnectivity.”

Putin acknowledged that China and Russia have deep economic ties, adding that bilateral trade topped $140 billion in 2021. 

“I am convinced that by the end of the year we will reach new record levels, and in the near future, as agreed, we will increase our annual trade turnover to $200 billion or more,” Putin said.

Ahead of the meeting, a top Chinese official said that China is willing to work with Russia to establish a new world order that will work “in a more just and reasonable direction.”

“The Chinese side is willing to work with the Russian side to continuously implement high-level strategic cooperation between the two countries, safeguard common interests and promote the development of the international order in a more just and reasonable direction,” said Yang Jiechi, the director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CCP Central Committee.