‘A New Cold War’: Xi and Putin Signal Closer Ties During Russia Visit
Chinese President Xi Jinping ended a three-day visit to Russia Wednesday pledging to “safeguard the international system.” Experts, however, point out that no meaningful progress was made between Xi and Russian President Vladimir Putin to broker an end to Russia’s ongoing invasion of Ukraine. Meanwhile, lawmakers on Capitol Hill point to China’s ongoing internal human rights abuses as a sign that the communist country cannot be trusted in negotiating peace in Ukraine.
During the state visit in Moscow, Xi and Putin pledged to strengthen their “strategic cooperation” through increased trade in energy and high-tech industries, but stopped short of announcing an agreement for China to supply Russia with weapons for its war in Ukraine, which has been a primary concern of the West.
Still, China experts like Gordon Chang are not seeing the visit as a breakthrough in friendship between the two powers, despite worrisome signs.
“They can’t really trust each other, but at least for the moment, they are working very closely together,” he told Tony Perkins on “Washington Watch” Wednesday. “Although they may never have an enduring partnership, we don’t really care what Moscow and Beijing are going to do in the 2050s or 2060s. Right now they are upending the world order.”
Chang went on to highlight a comment Xi made to Putin on Tuesday evening after a state dinner at the Kremlin, in which he said, “Now there are changes that have not happened in 100 years. When we are together, we drive these changes.”
“That’s quite an arrogant statement, and it’s very clear where this is going,” Chang said. “The world is dividing into camps, and China and Russia are forming the core of a new axis. And that means [it] looks like a new Cold War.”
He further elaborated on how the war in Ukraine is adding a new dynamic to the relationship between the two countries.
“China is by far the stronger of the two,” Chang explained. “But Vladimir Putin is willing to challenge the world in ways that Xi Jinping doesn’t. And that means that Russia is, in a sense, driving that partnership between the two of them. And that means that Xi Jinping has got to bail out Vladimir Putin from time to time — like about now. So although Russia is the far weaker of the two, it is the one that is actually disturbing the world and forcing the Chinese to support them.”
Lt. Gen. (Ret.) William G. Boykin, a 36-year Army veteran and current executive vice president of Family Research Council, agreed with Chang’s assessment of the developing China-Russia situation on the world stage.
“I think that we’re going back to a Cold War,” he concurred on “Washington Watch.” “… We’re going to be back into surrogate military operations. And I think that there is no question that the Chinese want to dominate the whole world. They’ve made no bones about that. It’s just like the commitment they’ve made to take Taiwan. They’re serious about it, and they’ve been very open about it. And I think that they’re using … Russia as a way of getting to where they want to be geopolitically. … [T]hey want to be the big dog on the block. And … America [is] the only thing that is preventing them from dominating the world.”
Boykin went on to note that the Ukraine war will likely stall China’s plans for a future invasion of Taiwan.
“I think Taiwan’s on hold until this is solved,” he asserted. “I think that Xi is still watching this largely because he doesn’t really know what he’s going to encounter in Taiwan [which] is a very high tech nation. Taiwan has some tricky waters off their shores. It makes amphibious landings very problematic. And he also is not sure just how much the U.S. military is going to commit to supporting the Taiwanese if in fact they are attacked by mainland China.”
As Xi departed Russia on Wednesday, the House Select Committee on China is set to kick off on Thursday with a hearing addressing the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) ongoing treatment of the Uyghur people in China’s Xinjiang region, which experts are calling a genocide.
“The Chinese Communist Party’s ongoing Uyghur genocide reveals the party’s true nature,” Rep. Mike Gallagher (R-Wis.) told The Daily Signal. “It should serve as a warning for what the world would look like under CCP leadership.”
Gallagher, who serves as the committee chair, elaborated on the CCP’s practices in the regions. “Religious minorities are rounded up in concentration camps and subjected to forced labor,” he explained. “Women are subjected to forced abortion, sterilization, and IUD insertion. Families are separated. An ethnic group is being systematically exterminated.”
Reports outline the forced detainment of “up to 1.8 million Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities in as many as 1,300 to 1,400 internment camps.”
A day after the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin for committing war crimes, including the purported abduction of as many as 16,226 children from Ukraine, the East Turkistan Government in Exile called for the arrest of Xi Jinping for “#UyghurGenocide + over 880,5000 Uyghur/Turkic children forcibly separated from families and sent to indoctrination camps.”
Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.