President Joe Biden is not the only head of state Russian President Vladimir Putin is talking to.
Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping are set to hold a virtual summit on Wednesday to discuss their relationship and “international issues,” The Associated Press reported.
Last week, Biden and Putin held a virtual call in which Biden warned Putin not to invade Ukraine. If Russia keeps testing the limits and invades Ukraine, Biden told Putin the U.S. would impose harsh economic measures.
China’s position on Russian aggression toward Ukraine is unclear. Xi did speak to Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky in July, but there has been no strong stance on the matter from Beijing, CNBC reported.
This week’s meeting between Xi and Putin is expected to cover general issues.
“The two heads of state will give full review of China-Russia relations and cooperation in various fields this year,” Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin said, according to the AP.
The leaders will also “make top-level designs for the development of bilateral relations next year,” Wang said.
A Kremlin spokesman added that the discussion between Xi and Putin will cover the tensions with the West.
“The situation in international affairs, especially on the European continent, is very, very tense right now and requires discussion between allies,” Dmitry Peskov, the Kremlin spokesman, said, according to Reuters. “We see very, very aggressive rhetoric on the NATO and U.S. side, and this requires discussion between us and the Chinese.”
Russia and China, America’s greatest competitors on the international stage, have strengthened their ties over the past year. The two heads of state met in late June, CNBC reported.
Analysts have noted that the Russia-China relationship is perhaps the strongest it’s ever been — and that should be concerning to Western powers.
“It’s the strongest, closest and best relationship that the two countries have had since at least the mid-1950s. And possibly ever,” said Nigel Gould-Davies, a senior fellow for Russia and Eurasia at the International Institute for Strategic Studies, according to Al Jazeera.
Now, Russia is edging closer and closer to Ukraine, despite Biden’s warnings. Some blame the Biden administration’s weak stance toward the Kremlin.
“If we show this indecision, which has been the hallmark of the Biden administration, then something is going to go wrong,” said Gordon Chang, author of “The Great U.S.-China Tech War,” according to WCTI-TV.
Russia and China have been trying to keep the U.S. from worldwide dominance for years.
“We know that they’re up to no good because they have, over the course of decades, been coordinating their foreign policy, and they’ve also been coordinating their militaries,” Chang said.
“I think the problem is just a lack of resolution on the part of the White House to actually mean what they say.”
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