China and Russia Strengthen Alliance

Putin turns to Beijing as West assails him for Ukraine crisis

Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping
Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin / AP

China and Russia’s presidents signified the deepening ties between their two countries by appearing together at an event to commemorate the defeat of Nazi Germany in World War II, the Atlantic reports.

Russian President Vladimir Putin offered the seat next to him at the ceremony to Chinese President Xi Jinping. Despite acrimonious relations between the two countries for most of the Cold War period, Putin has turned to Beijing for support amid Western criticism of his destabilization of Ukraine:

As Russia’s relationship with the United States and its European allies grows worse, its ties to China have never been closer. On the eve of the parade last Friday, the two countries announced 32 separate bilateral agreements, including a non-aggression pledge in cyber warfare. The deals complement a $400 billion deal made last May, when Russia agreed to ship 38 billion cubic meters of natural gas each year between 2018 and 2048 to China. And next week, Russian and Chinese naval vessels will conduct live drills in the eastern Mediterranean Sea. […]

Despite many differences and possible points of contention, China and Russia are united by a major strategic interest: disrupting the United States. Beijing and Moscow have found common cause on the United Nations Security Council, where they have repeatedly blocked U.S.-led foreign policy initiatives. And when Washington and its European allies slapped sanctions on Russia’s economy after Moscow’s forcible annexation of Crimea, Beijing remained neutral—despite non-interference being the bedrock principle of Chinese foreign policy.

"Decades ago, the Chinese and Russian nations shared weal and woe and forged an unbreakable war friendship with fresh blood," Xi said on Thursday, according to the state-run Xinhua news agency. "Today, the two peoples will jointly move forward, safeguarding peace and promoting development, and continue to contribute to enduring global peace and the common progress of mankind."