By Sanjeev Sharma
New Delhi, March 26 (IANS) China and Russia have laid out a basic platform for the creation of a new World Order and stated in part, their push to see this succeed, says Chris Devonshire-Ellis, Chairman of Dezan Shira & Associates.
Much is already underway, with the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation already discussing mutual cooperation and development with the Eurasian Economic Union. Add in a BRICS+ and the Belt and Road Initiative and the world starts to look rather different than it did pre-Covid, Ellis said.
“At that time, President Putin stated that the world would never be as it was. It appears that President Xi Jinping agrees. He was heard stating that ‘Great changes are coming’ to President Vladimir Putin as he departed back to Beijing on Tuesday evening, indicating that China and Russia do have the basis for enacting reforms,” Ellis added.
David O. Shullman, senior director of the Global China Hub at the Atlantic Council, says Xi seems to view Russian partnership as essential not only to China’s bid to revise the global order but to girding for an expected protracted strategic competition with Washington as US-China ties grow ever more fraught.
In particular, Russia is viewed as critical to mitigating China’s vulnerability to US actions in the event of a war over Taiwan and devising an alternative to the Washington-centric global financial system, Shullman said.
Xi’s meetings with Putin and the joint statements released should dispel any remaining doubts that Xi has doubled down on relations with Russia over the past year even as Putin has unleashed his punishing war on Ukraine.
Xi, intent upon preventing Russian failure in Ukraine, is supporting Putin’s continued ability to prosecute the war in numerous ways short of sanctions violation while deepening the countries’ military and economic ties, Shullman said.
Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin reaffirmed the deepening political and economic ties between their two countries at a summit that telegraphed their shared interest in challenging a world order led by the US and its democratic allies, The Wall Street Journal reported.
China, which has become an important economic lifeline for Russia as it faces Western sanctions, said it would work to strengthen commercial and financial ties.
The strengthening entente between Russia and China is a significant concern in Western capitals, which view the pair as a potentially powerful challenger to the US and its allies.
Xi and Putin have denounced what they describe as a US-led geopolitical order, and have garnered support, particularly in the developing world, for their vision of a multipolar world, The Wall Street Journal reported.
The two leaders greeted each other as “dear friend” before holding discussions, including over Ukraine, and dining together at a state banquet — a seven-course affair featuring quail blinis, Siberian salmon, venison in cherry sauce and wine from Russia’s Black Sea coast, according to a menu.
(Sanjeev Sharma can be reached at Sanjeev.firstname.lastname@example.org)