The discussion, which was heavily publicized in Russian media, focused on growing the two countries’ partnership in the face of “unprecedented pressure” from Western countries.
Putin’s opening remarks, which were broadcast on Russian state television, focused on how Russia and China can become a stabilizing force in the East.
The Russian president praised the relationship between the two authoritarian countries, describing it as the “best in history” and one that can “withstand all tests.”
“We share the same views on the causes, course and logic of the ongoing transformation of the global geopolitical landscape,” the Russian president said, before criticizing Western countries for “provocations” in the East.
“In the face of unprecedented pressure and provocations from the West, we defend our principled positions and defend not only our own interests, but also all those who stand for a truly democratic system and the right of countries to freely determine their own destiny,” Putin said.
The comments reflect the Russian leader’s efforts to not only foster closer economic ties with sympathetic countries but also a wider goal of growing the East’s power.
The discussion focused heavily on how the two countries can strengthen their economic and military cooperation, although President Xi stopped short of vowing to support Russia in its struggling war in Ukraine.
While the Chinese president promised to “strengthen strategic coordination” and create “more stability” in the world, he also promised to maintain an “objective and fair” stance on the war in Ukraine.
The Chinese president also claimed that Russian officials continue to express their willingness to engage in diplomatic negotiations with Ukraine.
Russia Wants Technology
While Moscow is almost certainly disappointed that China won’t step up and help out in someway on Ukraine, as the deepening of economic ties between the two countries could potentially solve Russia’s tech import woes.
With Western sanctions preventing Russia from importing technology and technological equipment from the West, China and its huge manufacturing capabilities could potentially help Russia fill those gaps. In 2021, Russia received only 2% of China’s technology exports, meaning there is huge room to grow – and while assisting Russia in this way would almost certainly result in new sanctions, it’s hard to predict how hard the West will punish China given how interdependent its economy is with most major Western economies.
If China can provide Russia with the technology and equipment it needs, and if it can do so quickly, it could potentially help Moscow manufacture the ammunition and modern weapons it needs to counter the advanced weapons used by the Ukrainians.
Jack Buckby is 19FortyFive’s Breaking News Editor.