Xi, Putin meet, but no major announcements

In a chilling look at what the rest of the 21st century might look like, President Xi Jinping of China and President Vladimir Putin of Russia spent two days together in Moscow. The event, filled with more pomp than substance, demonstrated a new cooperation between the two traditional rivals.

While the potential indictment of a former president for campaign violations involving payments to a porn star distracted Americans, the two biggest threats to American global power were spending time together and promising to fight the West together.

A statement from the Chinese government said, "They [the leaders] shared the view that this relationship has gone far beyond the bilateral scope and acquired critical importance for the global landscape and the future of humanity."

"We are working in solidarity on the formation of a more just and democratic multipolar world order, which should be based on the central role of the U.N., its Security Council, international law, the purposes and principles of the U.N. Charter," Putin said on the Kremlin website.

Both Putin and Xi are essentially presidents for life. Putin has consistently eliminated any competition, and XI got his legislature to appoint him to a lifetime post as his country’s leader.

Xi had proposed a peaceful solution to the Ukraine conflict last month. The proposal speaks of cease-fires and dialogues but doesn't call for Russia to leave Ukraine. It also states that the "sovereignty" of all nations should be honored, but Russia has insisted that Ukraine is part of Russia, a situation sure to figure into their interpretation of sovereignty. While filled with peaceful ideas, the plan offered no real solution to the conflict beyond talking.

National security spokesman, John Kirby, was critical of the plan in comments he made. "A cease-fire right now, freezing the lines where they are, basically gives him [Putin] the time and space he needs to try to re-equip, to re-man, to make up for that resource expenditure."

Putin has been pushing hard for a gas pipeline into China that would funnel billions of Chinese yen into Russia every month. The Chinese are hungry for more energy to feed their manufacturing machine, but no agreement was signed during this visit.

Ultimately, the visit was mostly show and pomp, but it signals a significant thawing of relations between Russia and China, nations that have been enemies for hundreds of years.

The visit is seen as giving President Putin a boost as his homegrown support has been flagging as the war in Ukraine drags on and his forces seem to be struggling with an “inferior” force.

While this was going on in Moscow, the Japanese Prime Minister made a surprise visit to Ukraine, the International Monetary Fund has announced a preliminary agreement to loan Kyiv $15.6 billion over four years, and the United States sped up plans to deliver 31 Abrams tanks to the embattled country. These actions seem to say that if Russia and China are planning to align against the West, they might meet a strong united front.

Bob Peryea
National Correspondent
The Kentucky Daily

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