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    5. Xi and Putin talk about peace, but prepare for war

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    Xi and Putin talk about peace, but prepare for war

    Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping inspect the guard of honor during the official welcoming ceremony in Beijing Photo: AFP

    Most of the US and China European Concerns driven by Beijing's ongoing trade with Moscow, which is under tough sanctions after the invasion of Ukraine, and a weapons technology alliance in which Chinese chips and machine components strengthen Russia's war machine.

    China has refused to condemn the war and is diplomatically backing Moscow. accusing the West of undermining Russia's security. Meanwhile, Russia has consistently emphasized Beijing's support on issues related to Taiwan, which China has threatened to invade.

    Putin may also be interested in discussing the construction of a pipeline through Siberia that would carry natural gas to China. it would go to Europe. One of the deputy prime ministers in his circle, Alexander Novak, is a key official in Moscow's oil and gas industry.

    When Putin talks about his approval of China's peace plan for Ukraine, he is referring to the vague 12-point plan released by Beijing, which , apparently, will strengthen Moscow's control over the Ukrainian regions it captured through military force.

    Some analysts argue that China's support for Russia is helping to divert attention and resources away from the Pacific region and Taiwan's long-term security.

    Russian and Chinese military exercises, including naval exercises and long-range bomber patrols over the Sea of ​​Japan, as well as exercises ground forces on each other's territory, also began to change US calculations on the Taiwan issue.

    Russia's Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands before talks in Beijing Photo: SERGEY GUNEEV/AFP

    Air Force Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Cruz, director of the Pentagon Intelligence Agency, said their cooperation over the past two years has forced the Pentagon to… take a fresh look at your own analysis and become “even more concerned about what the needs of our joint force are.” » in the region.

    A joint statement issued after Xi Jinping's three-day visit to Moscow in March said Russia “recognizes Taiwan as an integral part of Chinese territory” in one of its clearest statements of support for China. date on this issue.

    In early May, US Department of Defense officials warned the US Senate Armed Services Committee about joint military exercises between China and Russia in the East China Sea near Taiwan.

    Avril Haines, director of national intelligence, told US senators: “China clearly wants Russia to work with them, and we see no reason why [Russia] wouldn't do that.”

    Ahead of his visit Putin said, according to China's Xinhua News Agency, that the meeting will promote joint efforts to strengthen the “territorial integrity and security of our countries” through “strategic partnership and coordination for a new era.”

    As for the full scope of what it means for military and geopolitical cooperation, the two autocratic leaders are likely to keep the West guessing.

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