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Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping have overseen an increasingly close relationship between the two countries. Photo: AP

Xi Jinping tells Vladimir Putin: China and Russia should stand firm against unilateralism

  • Chinese leader calls for two countries to strengthen cooperation amid a fast-changing global situation
  • Telephone conversation follows growing tensions between China and India, which both have long-standing strategic partnerships with Moscow

China and Russia should stand firmly together against hegemony and unilateralism, Chinese President Xi Jinping told his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin over the phone on Wednesday.

Xi said it was necessary for Beijing and Moscow to intensify their strategic communication and cooperation in the fast-changing global situation, according to the Chinese state TV channel CGTN.

Their conversation came amid increasingly strained China-US relations and heightened tension between China and India following a deadly clash between troops on the disputed Himalayan border last month.

The conversation took place five days after Putin spoke to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi after New Delhi approved a major arms deal between the two countries.


Trump and Xi gather with world leaders at G20 Osaka summit

Trump and Xi gather with world leaders at G20 Osaka summit
Indian media reported that Modi was the first world leader to congratulate Putin on his victory in a referendum on a constitutional reform that would allow him to remain as president until 2036.

Putin was also reported to have told Modi that he wanted to strengthen the “special and privileged” strategic partnership between the two countries.

Xi told Putin that China was willing to continue mutual support with Russia, firmly opposing external interference and sabotage, and maintain the country’s respective sovereignty, security and development interests, CGTN reported.

As China-India tensions rise, can New Delhi rely on Russia as a defence partner?

Xi said China “as always” firmly supported Russia following its own path to develop and revitalise the country, and called for cooperation in technology, vaccine development and biosecurity.

He added that China would intensify its coordination with Russia internationally, including the United Nations, to defend multilateralism and oppose hegemony and unilateralism.

Their call followed Tuesday’s confirmation that the US would pull out of the World Health Organisation, which Donald Trump has accused of being unduly influenced by China in its handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The same day Russia and China vetoed a draft UN Security Council resolution to extend aid deliveries to Syria.

Why Russia’s Vladivostok celebration prompted a nationalist backlash in China

The last time Xi and Putin talked over the phone was in May and despite their close relationship, some observers have noticed subtle changes in China-Russia relations in recent months.

Last week the Russian embassy in China was hit by a nationalist backlash from Chinese diplomats and internet users after it posted a video on social media to mark the anniversary of the foundation of Vladivostok.

The port city was founded in 1860 on territory seized from China following its defeat at the hands of Britain and France in the second opium war.