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Tags: vladimir putin | xi jinping | russia | china | ukraine | sanctions | trade

Putin Recognizes China Has 'Questions and Concerns' Amid Halting Invasion

Vladimir Putin looks on
(Sergei Guneyev/Getty Images)

By    |   Thursday, 15 September 2022 05:14 PM EDT

While attending a regional summit in Uzbekistan Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin commended China for its "balanced position" on the Ukraine war and acknowledged that Beijing had "questions and concerns," according to CNN.

Putin's remarks came when meeting Chinese leader Xi Jinping in person for the first time since the conflict began and days after Russia suffered a string of losses in Ukraine. CNN reports that Russian forces are on the retreat after Ukraine recaptured more than 2,300 square miles of territory.

For its part, China has thus far supported Russia's unprovoked attack on its neighbor in that it has allowed Russia to evade Western sanctions by increasing bilateral trade.

"We highly appreciate the balanced position of our Chinese friends in connection with the Ukrainian crisis," Putin said during an opening speech. "We understand your questions and concerns in this regard. During today's meeting, of course, we will explain in detail our position on this issue, although we have spoken about this before."

According to a readout of the meeting provided by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Xi pledged that China would "work with Russia to extend strong mutual support on issues concerning each other's core interests" and would "play a leading role in injecting stability and positive energy into a world of change and disorder."

Xi also said that "Russia's adherence to the one-China principle" was valued and stressed that "Taiwan is a part of China."

The two authoritarians have become close in recent years, sharing a strong personal bond forged in mutual conflict with the West.

China has quietly supported Russia's aggression in Ukraine, while Moscow has criticized Washington and backed Beijing over House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's August trip to Taipei. Beijing responded to the California Democrat's trip with military drills around the self-governing island, which it claims as a part of China.

Saying China had not yet flouted Western sanctions or provided direct material assistance to Russia, the White House tried to downplay the meeting between Putin and Xi.

"Our message to China, I think, [has] been consistent: that this is not the time for any kind of business as usual with Mr. Putin, given what he's done inside Ukraine," the National Security Council coordinator for strategic communications, John Kirby, told CNN. "This is not the time to be isolated from the rest of the international community, which has largely condemned what he's doing in Ukraine and not only condemned it, but stepped up to help the Ukrainians defend themselves and their territorial integrity."

He added that Putin is "very much under strain and stress. In Ukraine, his army is not doing well, and I think it certainly behooves the Kremlin to want to cozy up to Beijing with respect to what's going on there."

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While attending a regional summit in Uzbekistan Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin commended China for its "balanced position" on the Ukraine war and acknowledged that Beijing had "questions and concerns," according to CNN.
vladimir putin, xi jinping, russia, china, ukraine, sanctions, trade
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2022-14-15
Thursday, 15 September 2022 05:14 PM
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