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China And Russia Strengthen Friendship, Blast Western ‘Neocolonialism’ And Militarism

Putin met with Xi Jinping in Beijing.

China and Russia released a joint statement blasting Western “colonialism and hegemonism”, supporting a multipolar world and more representation for the Global South, and calling for de-dollarization and expansion of BRICS.

As the United States imposes more and more sanctions on China and Russia, this has only driven the Eurasian powers closer together.

The leaders of the two countries convened in Beijing in May. It was their 43rd meeting.

There, Presidents Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin signed a joint statement commemorating the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations.

In the document, China and Russia blasted Western “colonialism and hegemonism”, called to build a more multipolar world with increased representation for the Global South, and expressed support for de-dollarization and expansion of BRICS.

Geopolitical Economy Report has published an unofficial machine translation of the full text of the joint statement. What follows is a summary of the main points addressed in the document.

China-Russia Relations Are “At Their Best Level In History”

The joint statement emphasized that China-Russia relations “are now at their best level in history”, and that “this partnership is not a temporary measure”.

The Eurasian powers stressed, however, that their “comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era” is “characterized by non-alignment, non-confrontation, and non-targeting of third countries”.

Moscow expressed its support for the One China principle, opposing Taiwan separatism, while Beijing recognized Russia’s national security needs and firmly opposed external interference in its internal affairs.

Support For Global South

Commitments like these had been made before. What was more unique about this statement was how China and Russia highlighted “the rising status and strength of emerging powers in the Global South”.

Beijing and Moscow wrote that the growing influence of the Global South can “accelerate the redistribution of development potential, resources, and opportunities, favoring emerging markets and developing countries, and promoting the democratization of international relations”.

In this vein, they called for a “good and healthy atmosphere of international cooperation with Africa”. They also hoped to make “contributions to supporting African countries in solving African problems in an African way”.

China and Russia pledged to “deepen cooperation with ASEAN”, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and to “promote the consolidation of ASEAN’s central position in the multilateral framework of the Asia-Pacific region”.

At the same time, both countries affirmed their goal to “strengthen strategic cooperation on Latin American and Caribbean affairs”, mentioning important regional organizations like the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), the Southern Common Market (MERCOSUR), and the Bolivarian Alliance for the Peoples of Our America (ALBA). (Notably absent from their remarks was any mention of the US-dominated Organization of American States (OAS), which Washington has used to try to impose its political will on the region.)

“Building A Multipolar World”

While maintaining that the Global South should have more representation, China and Russia noted, “In contrast, countries adhering to hegemonism and power politics are going against this trend, attempting to replace and subvert the recognized international order based on international law with a ‘rules-based order’”.

The Eurasian powers emphasized that they are “in the process of building a multipolar world”, and seek “an equitable and orderly multipolar world and the democratization of international relations”.

“Both sides believe that all countries have the right to independently choose their development models and political, economic, and social systems based on their national conditions and people’s will, opposing interference in the internal affairs of sovereign countries, unilateral sanctions without international law basis or UN Security Council authorization”, wrote Beijing and Moscow.

“Neocolonialism and hegemonism completely contradict the current trend of the times”, they emphasized.

In a clear message to the US and EU, China and Russia said they “call on relevant countries and organizations to stop adopting confrontational policies and interfering in the internal affairs of other countries, disrupting existing security architectures, building ‘small yards’ between nations, stirring up regional tensions, and advocating for bloc confrontation”.

In the statement, Xi and Putin also pledged to deepen military cooperation between their countries, including through joint training and exercises.

De-Dollarization And Trade In Local Currencies

China and Russia said they will further de-dollarize, planning to “increase the share of local currencies in bilateral trade, financing, and other economic activities”.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov reported in April that more than 90% of bilateral trade between the neighbors is already done in their local currencies, the renminbi and ruble. The US dollar and euro have been almost entirely removed from the transactions.

The Financial Times reported this May that “economic links between the two sides are booming”. Bilateral trade between China and Russia reached $240 billion in 2023, a 26% increase in just one year.

In 2023, Russia overtook Saudi Arabia as the largest supplier of oil to China.

Expanding BRICS And Strengthening Shanghai Cooperation Organization

In their May 2024 joint statement, China and Russia expressed support for further expanding BRICS, promising to “promote the integration of new members into existing BRICS cooperation mechanisms, and explore modes of cooperation among BRICS partner countries”.

They pledged to “continue to uphold the BRICS spirit, enhance the influence of the BRICS mechanism in international affairs and agenda-setting”.

Beijing and Moscow again urged de-dollarization, “effectively promoting dialogue on the use of local currencies, payment instruments, and platforms for BRICS trade transactions”.

They likewise endorsed calls to “enhance the representation of “global South” countries in the global economic governance system”.

“Both sides welcome the African Union’s membership in the G20 and are willing to make constructive efforts for the common interests of emerging markets and developing countries”, they wrote.

The Eurasian powers similarly hope to strengthen new multilateral bodies like the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, so as “to play a greater role in building a new, just, and stable multipolar international order”.

Supporting The International Law-Based System Centered In The UN

While Western government officials and media pundits have often accused China and Russia of being “revisionist” powers, Beijing and Moscow called in their joint statement for strengthening the international law-based system centered in the United Nations.

Xi and Putin made it clear that what they oppose is the attempt by the Western powers to replace this system with the vague concept of a so-called “rules-based international order”.

“Both sides reaffirmed their commitment to building a more just and stable multipolar international architecture, fully respecting and abiding by the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter unconditionally, and safeguarding true multilateralism”, they wrote.

The countries proposed to strengthen the Group of Friends in Defense of the Charter of the United Nations.

Condemning US Militarism And “Cold War Thinking”

China and Russia criticized the United States for militarizing the world, writing, “Both sides express serious concern once again about the United States’ attempts to disrupt strategic stability in order to maintain its absolute military advantage”.

Washington is trying to “normalize the deployment of missiles worldwide”, they said, adding, “Both sides strongly condemn these extremely destabilizing measures that directly threaten China and Russia’s security and will strengthen coordination and cooperation to address the US’ non-constructive and hostile policy of so-called ‘dual containment’ against China and Russia”.

“The United States clings to Cold War thinking and the mode of bloc confrontation, prioritizing ‘small-group’ security over regional peace and stability, posing a threat to the security of all countries in the region”, stated Xi and Putin. “The United States should cease such behavior”.

Peace In East Asia And On Korean Peninsula

In their joint statement, China and Russia stressed that they “oppose US attempts to change the balance of power in Northeast Asia by expanding its military presence and cobbling together military groupings”.

In reference to North Korea (known officially as the DPRK), Beijing and Moscow wrote that they “oppose the US and its allies’ deterrent actions in the military field, provoking confrontation with the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea and aggravating tensions on the Korean Peninsula that could lead to armed conflict”.

“Both sides urge the United States to take effective measures to ease military tensions and create favorable conditions, abandon intimidation, sanctions, and suppression, and promote negotiations among North Korea and other relevant countries on the principle of mutual respect and consideration of each other’s security concerns”, they wrote, affirming that “political and diplomatic means are the only way to resolve all issues on the Korean Peninsula”.

They also expressed “serious concern about the consequences of the AUKUS trilateral security partnership in various fields for the strategic stability of the Asia-Pacific region”.

Opposing Militarization Of Space

Beijing and Moscow were clear that they “oppose attempts by individual countries to militarize outer space”.

Both countries said they agreed “to promote the international initiative/political commitment not to deploy weapons first in outer space on a global scale”.

“To maintain world peace, ensure the equal and indivisible security of all countries”, they wrote.

Fighting Climate Change By Providing Financial Transfer From Global North To South

On the issue of climate change, China and Russia reaffirmed “their commitment to the objectives, principles, and institutional framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and its Paris Agreement”.

They emphasized “the crucial importance of financial support from developed countries to developing countries for mitigating global average temperature rise and adapting to the adverse effects of global climate change”.

Xi and Putin similarly proposed working “with all parties to develop legally binding documents to address environmental pollution caused by plastic waste”.

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