Putin, Xi agree to extend 20-year-old friendship treaty
This article was originally published by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty and is reprinted with permission.
Russia and China extended a 20-year-old friendship treaty, the latest in a series of moves that have drawn Moscow and Beijing closer together.
The Kremlin on June 28 published a joint statement from Russia and China to mark two decades since the treaty was signed, as Presidents Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping held a televised meeting by video link.
Once communist adversaries, the two countries have deepened ties and cooperation, in large part due to distrust of the United States.
Since the treaty was initially signed, Moscow and Beijing have expanded military, energy, and other economic ties while also supporting each other diplomatically on a number of issues.
“In the context of increasing geopolitical turbulence, the dismantlement of arms-control agreements and increased potential for conflict in different corners of the world, Russian-Chinese coordination plays a stabilizing role in world affairs,” Putin told Xi, according to a Kremlin readout of their conversation.
Xi said, meanwhile, relations between Russia and China “set an example for the formation of a new type of international relations,” according to the Kremlin.
Moscow relations with the United States and its Western allies are at post-Cold War lows, strained by issues including Russia’s meddling in elections, the conflicts in Ukraine, and cyberattacks allegedly from Russian hackers. Beijing is facing growing international criticism over its human rights abuses in Hong Kong and Xinjiang.
Both Russia and China have been accused by human rights groups and the West of abusing their veto power at the United Nations Security Council.