Putin reveals China’s concern over Ukraine

Vladimir Putin has acknowledged China’s “concern” over Ukraine, in his first face-to-face talks with President Xi Jinping since the Russian invasion.
But speaking in Uzbekistan, Mr Putin also thanked China for its “balanced position” – and said US “attempts to create a unipolar world” would fail.
Mr Xi said China was willing to work together with Russia as “great powers”.
China hasn’t endorsed Russia’s invasion but has grown trade and other ties with Moscow since it was launched.
The two leaders’ meeting on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summit in Samarkand comes at a crucial point in the Ukraine war, as Russian troops lose ground in parts of the country.
“We highly value the balanced position of our Chinese friends when it comes to the Ukraine crisis,” Mr Putin told Mr Xi, on only his second foray abroad since February’s invasion.
Revealing that China had “questions and concern” about the situation in Ukraine, he said he understood.
“During today’s meeting, we will of course explain our position,” Mr Putin said.
The invasion has plunged Moscow into its worst crisis with the West since the Cold War and has sent global food and energy prices soaring.
It also poses a huge challenge for China – whose relations with the West have nosedived in recent years over issues including human rights and the future of Taiwan.
Mr Putin and Mr Xi have met dozens of times over the years but their latest talks received particular scrutiny.
Their growing relationship – which they characterise as a bulwark to Western dominance – signifies a major shift in the world order following the demise of the Soviet Union in 1991.
The roles are reversed now, with China the dominant partner, having risen to become an economic superpower.
“Putin is getting more out of it than Xi – Russia is quite isolated internationally,” Professor Emeritus Rosemary Foot, a senior research fellow in international relations at Oxford University, told the BBC.
“So it’s important to show that China is a supportive partner, not an ally but certainly a supportive actor. There is a close relationship.” -BBC

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