Behind closed doors, China, Russia vie for supremacy in global politics

Chinese and Russian leaders met in Beijing this weekend to strengthen their relationship, which they said is crucial to global stability. They expressed their support for President Xi Jinping’s sweeping Central Asian security plan — ahead of a larger meeting of Asia-Pacific leaders at Beijing’s invitation this month.

The meeting came at the conclusion of Xi’s three-day summit in China of heads of state of ten of the world’s largest countries: Russia, China, Japan, India, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Indonesia, Thailand and, of course, the United States. In addition to the security network, Xi said he aims to reinvigorate Chinese-Russian ties, raise Chinese foreign aid to $100 billion and improve relations with Europe.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has declined to comment on U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to pull out of a nuclear treaty with Russia and to shift toward a more militaristic approach. The two leaders have developed a strong personal rapport since they first met in 2013 and have found common cause in challenging U.S. leadership on a host of issues, including climate change, the Iran nuclear deal and the conflict in Syria. They are also conducting an important strategic economic dialogue.

China and Russia also remain allies of Myanmar and Sudan despite a string of U.S. sanctions against the countries and accuse the United States of an “economic coup” in Niger, where they say U.S. military personnel are involved in the training of local security forces. Xi told Putin on Saturday that China fully supports Russia’s “unique and traditional” ties with Sudan.

The question is whether these efforts to support one another will be enough to minimize tensions with the United States. Trump has criticized Moscow over its role in the conflict in Ukraine, criticized Beijing for its military support of North Korea and spurned a U.S.-China trade deal, which he said benefited neither country.

Read the full story at The Washington Post.


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