Russia and China have further tightened their “strategic alliance”, according to a statement released by presidents Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping, following their meeting yesterday in Beijing. The joint declaration also charges against the “hostile movements” of the United States. The “cooperation” between Moscow and Beijing thus enters “a new era”, when 75 years have passed since the establishment of relations, a pretext for this new visit by Putin, which will last two days.

The text, with successive references to energy and defense, Ukraine and Taiwan, expresses “deep concern” for what it considers Washington’s eagerness to “subvert the strategic security balance in the region”.

Likewise, the two presidents expressed agreement in international politics, particularly in favor of a “two-state solution” for the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. Putin positively assessed the Chinese proposals in favor of a political solution to the war in Ukraine. Although, even before taking the plane to Moscow, he warned that all interests had to be taken into account, “including those of Russia”. On the battlefield, moreover, the wind has been blowing in his favor for months, which has led his adversary, Volodymyr Zelensky, to cancel trips abroad.

Xi and Putin, in the joint appearance, emphasized how “very, very urgent” it is to find a solution to the current humanitarian cataclysm in Palestine, which would involve “implementing UN resolutions”.

This two-day trip to China by Putin comes seven months after he participated in the New Silk Roads forum, also in Beijing. The heads of government of Hungary and Serbia, Viktor Orbán and Aleksandar Vucic, went there, to whom Xi returned the visit a week ago.

Xi Jinping, who has been uncomfortable with the Russian invasion of Ukraine from the beginning, once again called for “respect for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of states”. Combined, of course, with “respect for the reasonable concerns of all parties in matters of security”, winking at Putin. “China hopes for the speedy restoration of peace and stability on the European continent and will continue to play a constructive role to that end,” Xi said.

In February 2022, shortly before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Xi and Putin proclaimed in Beijing a “boundless friendship” between their countries. Since then, economic exchanges between them have increased by 25%, and by 65% ​​since the beginning of the war. To top it all off, as a result of US sanctions, 80% to 90% of transactions between the two giants are done in yuan or roubles, rather than dollars.

However, Beijing is beginning to see Washington’s pressures to cut off exports that could contribute to the Russian war effort with apprehension. This was the main message brought to China last month by the US Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, who did not even remotely receive the red carpet with which Putin has been complimented.

The pretext for the visit of the President of Russia is the 75th anniversary of the establishment of relations between Beijing and Moscow. The USSR was the first state to recognize Mao’s People’s Republic of China, in October 1949. Under the inspiration of Henry Kissinger, in the 1970s, the USA knew how to exploit the rivalry between the two powers within the bloc socialist But Donald Trump’s tariff policy, first, and Joe Biden’s sanctions policy, later, have achieved the opposite effect. The embrace between the two Eurasian powers had never been so close.

However, even if the rhetoric and staging may suggest otherwise, Beijing’s aversion to military alliances remains. This does not prevent the strengthening of bilateral ties or through forums such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization or the Brics, where Brazil, India or South Africa were also present and, since this year, Iran or Saudi Arabia.

In fact, Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin wanted to give their meeting 42 a philanthropic veneer that can cause astonishment in the West and even more so in Ukraine. “Our cooperation and good neighborliness results in stability for everyone”, said the first. “We are working in favor of a multipolar and fairer world order”, assured the second.

As a culmination, Putin will go today to a bilateral forum in Harbin, a Chinese city close to the very extensive Russian border and which has hosted, since 1907, the largest Orthodox cathedral in the Far East. From there he should return to Moscow, but Russian journalistic sources do not rule out a surprise visit to Vietnam, long announced but never concrete.