The past few weeks saw tensions between the United States and Russia spike over the latter’s aggressive posturing, military buildup, and threats.
This comes against the backdrop of a similar deterioration of America’s relations with China which, in turn, is threatening to invade US ally, Taiwan.
China and Russia have been collaborating closely, both diplomatically and militarily, without actually forming a mutual defense alliance.
On Wednesday, however, Russian leader Vladimir Putin received all-out diplomatic support from Chinese leader Xi Jinping, as the former insists on what the Kremlin describes as “security guarantees” from the West.
Never mind that nations all over Eastern Europe are American allies. They have no desire whatsoever to remain in any kind of a Russian “sphere of influence.”
‘Unprecedentedly’ Close Russian-Chinese Relations
As Putin spoke on Wednesday with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, their second conversation for the year marked “an unprecedentedly high level” of the relations between the two anti-Western powers, as cited by CNBC.
The video conversation between Putin and Xi lasted 1 hour and 14 minutes, with the former addressing the latter as “my dear friend.” According to a Reuters report, Xi supported Putin’s push for getting “binding security guarantees” from the US and the rest of the Western nations.
Putin’s No. 1 demand has been that NATO declares Ukraine will never be admitted as a member; this has been rejected by both US President Joe Biden and NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.
‘Very Aggressive Rhetoric’ by America
Shortly before the video conversation of America’s top two adversaries, Putin’s spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, stated China and Russia are “allies” and the two strongmen would be discussing the tensions in Europe, as cited by Reuters.
He lambasted the “very, very aggressive rhetoric” by America and NATO, adding that “requires” discussions between the Russians and the Chinese.
Putin’s video meeting with Chinese leader Xi comes after the Russian president spoke with Joe Biden, insisting on guarantees Ukraine would never join NATO. Biden responded by warning Putin the West will impose crippling economic sanctions on Russia if it invades Ukraine.
Despite the seeming support the Chinese leader offered Putin against the West, it remains unclear exactly how Beijing views a potential Russian invasion of Ukraine.
China has also been working to develop its relations with Ukraine, regardless of the country’s pro-Western orientation. Xi spoke just last week with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky over the phone.
Tensions between China and the United States have been particularly high since September, as a result of a large number of Chinese provocations against Taiwan, a US ally which Beijing claims as its own province.
Chinese leader Xi has publicly toyed around with the idea he might seek to “reunify” China and Taiwan by force – basically, the same thing Putin is threatening to do with Ukraine, or at least its eastern half.
Xi: "Joey is a pussy"
Putin: "haha! Yes he is"
Xi: "I take Taiwan, you take Ukraine. He poop his pants again"
— Deborah the Bruce 2 (@DeborahtheBruc1) December 14, 2021
So in view of today's conversation between Putin and Xi Jinping (and also as a reality check against the backdrop of exciting commentary that China and Russia have become allies), let's briefly talk about the difference between an alliance and an alignment.
— Sergey Radchenko (@DrRadchenko) December 15, 2021