The US, US Allies Fail to Coax Moscow Out of Beijing

Vladimir Putin of Russia and Xi Jinping of China praised the tight diplomatic, military, and economic relations and their deep friendship during a video call on December 15.

The two leaders defied Western persuasion and threats of further penalties. Putin allegedly told Xi about his December 7 video contact with U.S. President Joe Biden. Putin and Xi also slammed Washington’s “disruptive” activities.

Growing Ties and Possible Repercussions

Xi backed Russia’s call for negotiations with the West on a robust security agreement in Europe; this comes along with a legal prohibition on any future NATO expansion eastward or the installation of alliance weapons close to Russian territory.

The two leaders also discussed boosting bilateral trade and financial cooperation. Xi praised Putin for solidly backing Chinese efforts to protect its fundamental national interests and resolutely fighting attempts by third parties to drive a wedge between their countries.

The United States and its allies have been transferring resources to the Asia-Pacific region in fear of expanding Chinese economic, monetary, and military might. Russia is too close to China’s burgeoning power to be considered safe.

Attempting to separate Moscow and Beijing would have seemed fair, especially because Russia and China were sworn adversaries for 30 years from the 1960s to the 1980s. Russia views itself as a superpower with its enormous conventional and nuclear arsenals.

Biden’s Second Call With Putin and Xi-Putin Meeting

According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, Biden intends to call Putin again soon, probably before the New Year. 

An anonymous European foreign minister informed reporters the conflict in Donbas must end, Russian weaponry must be removed, and the territory returned to Ukraine with more autonomy.

The West will never acknowledge Russia’s takeover, and certain sanctions will stay, but the issue will not be permitted to hamper future relations with Moscow substantially.

The top European official also intimated that Moscow must distance itself from Beijing. Russia must realize becoming a Chinese pawn is a bad idea. Russia may also require Western assistance if it has issues with China in the future.

The U.S., Japan, and other Western allies have tried to create a rift between Putin and Xi, but to no avail. International sanctions and the prospect of more restrictions have pushed Russia and China closer together.

According to pro-Kremlin analysts in Moscow, the U.S. and U.K. are losing the war for global domination; Sino-Russian cooperation will only become stronger.

Officials from Russia are barred from attending the event, but Xi invited Putin, who accepted. Since the COVID-19 epidemic, China’s leader has not visited overseas. Therefore, the next Putin-Xi “Olympic” summit in Beijing may be significant for both presidents.

A hypothetical military clash in the Taiwan Straits is unlikely to involve China, which does not acknowledge the annexation of Crimea.

For Moscow, China is a significant export market, second only to the E.U., but for Beijing, it is minor. The Sino-Russian partnership may be “beyond an alliance,” but also considerably less.

Despite the bluster, authoritarian alliances are always weak. For now, the Sino-Russian union is causing tremors in the West.