Putin and Xi Talk Taiwan, Trade, Ukraine, New World Order at SCO Summit
11:29 GMT 15.09.2022 (Updated: 12:45 GMT 19.06.2023)
The Russian and Chinese leaders are in Samarkand, Uzbekistan for the 22nd Shanghai Cooperation Organization Summit. This year the summit comes against the background of raging tensions between Russia and NATO over the security crisis in Ukraine, and escalating regional anxiety over Taiwan and amid US attempts to hem China in in the Asia-Pacific.
Russian President Vladimir Putin blasted Washington's provocations around Taiwan on Thursday, emphasizing that Moscow is firmly committed to the One China principle.
"We firmly adhere to the One China principle in practice. We condemn the provocations of the United States and its satellites in the Taiwan Strait," Putin stressed, speaking alongside Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Samarkand.
14 September 2022, 20:46 GMT
Tensions between China and the United States and its allies began escalating dramatically last month after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, the third most senior official in Washington, touched down in Taipei to lecture her hosts on the importance of security and economic cooperation. Beijing responded by staging weeks of military drills near the island. Pelosi's visit was followed up by trips by other US lawmakers, with a group of French senators traveling
to the country last week. The European Union's top intelligence official was reportedly set to make his own trip to the island, but canceled
after China found out about the plans.
Beijing considers Taiwan an inseparable part of China destined for eventual, hopefully peaceful, reunification with the mainland under the "One China - Two Systems" model currently applied to Hong Kong and Macau, which would leave the island substantial political and economic autonomy after reunification. US officials and the current Taiwanese government have rejected China's reunification bid, and striven to maintain the current status quo.
The Russian president also turned his attention to other global issues, telling his Chinese counterpart that the West's "attempts to create a unipolar world have recently taken on an absolutely ugly shape and are absolutely unacceptable to the vast majority of nations on the planet."
"Russian-Chinese interstate cooperation can be considered a model. The foreign policy tandem between Moscow and Beijing plays a key role in ensuring global and regional stability," Putin stressed.
The two countries favor the creation of a "just, democratic and multipolar world order that's based on international law and the central role of the United Nations, and not on some rules that someone has come up with and is trying to impose on others," Putin said.
Putin said Moscow understands China's concerns regarding the Ukraine crisis, and promised to explain Russia's position on the matter in detail in the course of talks. The president expressed appreciation for "the balanced position" taken by "our Chinese friends in connection with the Ukrainian crisis."
15 September 2022, 11:23 GMT
Putin also commented on the strengthening of economic ties between Moscow and Beijing, saying that trade between the two countries had hit a new record high in 2022, increasing by 25 percent in the first seven months of the year. Last year, he noted, trade turnover jumped 35 percent to more than $140 billion.
"I am convinced that by the end of the year we will reach new record levels of trade, and that in the near future, as agreed, annual trade turnover will increase to $200 billion or more," Putin said.
The Russian president also commented on the significance of the SCO summit, which is being held in person this year for the first time in two years, suggesting that it was "especially important" at the current historical stage to "ensure the strengthening of the SCO as a platform for constructive interaction."
For his part, President Xi stressed that China and Russia have maintained "effective strategic contacts" even in the face of the pandemic, and indicated that the PRC is ready to work with Russia to push the planet toward a more sustainable development trajectory.
"Dear President Putin, my dear and longtime friend, is very pleased with our meeting. In February of this year, we were pleased to celebrate the start of spring and the opening of the Winter Olympics, and to discuss grandiose plans for the development of Russian-Chinese relations. In the context of the global pandemic, we continue to maintain effective strategic contacts, particularly through telephone conversations," Xi said.
"In the face of the colossal changes taking place on a global scale in our time which are unprecedented in history, we are ready together with our Russian colleagues to show an example of a responsible world power and to play a leading role in bringing such a rapidly changing world onto a trajectory of sustainable and positive development," Xi said.
13 September 2022, 09:15 GMT