Chinese President Xi Jinping is going to travel outside of China for the first time since Covid. This week, the meeting of the member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization will be held in Kazakhstan. Xi will have a personal meeting with Putin during the meeting.
Analysts say that Xi, who has been in power for three consecutive terms in China, is running for another term in power. China’s presidential election is scheduled for next month. If Xi is re-elected as president, he will be the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong.
Xi’s first foreign trip since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic will demonstrate how confident he is in his grip on power in China and how dangerous the global situation has become.
According to the news agency Reuters, Xi is coming to Kazakhstan on a state visit on Wednesday amidst the world economic crisis, which is due to the invasion of Ukraine, the fence of unprecedented Western sanctions on Russia and the provocation of the West on Taiwan, on the other hand.
Chinese President Xi will meet Putin at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in the ancient Silk Road city of Samarkand, Uzbekistan, and Kazakhstan, the Kremlin said.
Putin’s foreign policy aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters last week that the Russian president is expected to meet with Xi. The Kremlin did not elaborate on their talks. China has yet to confirm Xi’s travel plans.
Analysts say the China-Russia summit will provide an opportunity to underscore Xi’s influence. Because Putin’s inclination is now towards Asia. Both leaders are expected to oppose the US just as the West seeks to punish Russia for the Ukraine war. Because the Ukraine and Taiwan issues have given Putin and Xi an opportunity to become closer.
George Magnus, the author of the book “Red Flags”, said, “My idea about Xi is; He wants to show how confident he is racially. Also wants to prove itself as the international leader of the countries opposing the western hegemony. Personally I imagine Xi will be most concerned about how Putin’s war is going and indeed if Putin or Russia will be playing at any point in the near future. Because China still needs anti-Western leadership in Moscow.
Recent years have seen the effect of a deepening unfettered friendship between China’s rising superpower and Russia’s natural resources titan, one of the most interesting geopolitical developments. Westerners are watching their friendship with concern.
After the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia, once a senior partner in the global communist hierarchy, is now considered a junior partner in a resurgent Communist China. Analysts predict the two countries will overtake the United States as the world’s largest economy in the next decade.
Historical conflicts abound in the partnership, however. There is no sign that Xi will abandon his support for Putin during Russia’s most serious confrontation with the West since the height of the Cold War. On the contrary, the two leaders are deepening the relationship. Trade between Russia and China increased by almost a third in the first 7 months of 2022.
Alexander Korolev, senior lecturer in politics and international relations at UNSW, said the visit showed that China was not only willing to continue ‘business as usual’ with Russia, but also to show clear support for Putin and accelerate the building of stronger Sino-Russian relations.
He added, “Beijing is reluctant to distance itself from Moscow despite facing a serious diplomatic crisis and the risk of becoming the target of secondary economic sanctions.”