onsdag 16. juni 2021

US and allies are pushing China and Russia closer together, but will their 'unbreakable friendship' last?

Russia and China couldn't stop boasting about their "unbreakable friendship" ahead of Vladimir Putin's summit with US President Joe Biden this week. Relations between Moscow and Beijing are at an "unprecedentedly high level," Russian leader Putin told NBC in an interview aired Monday, stressing he does not consider China a threat. "China is a friendly nation. It has not declared us an enemy, as the United States has done," he said.

On Tuesday, Beijing returned the praise in kind, declaring the "sky is the limit" for bilateral cooperation. "China and Russia are united like a mountain, and our friendship is unbreakable," foreign ministry spokesperson Zhao Lijian told a news briefing

In recent years, the two countries have gravitated closer toward each other amid their deteriorating relations with the West. For Russia, a pivot to the world's second largest economy was a natural solution to sanctions over its annexation of Crimea and incursions into eastern Ukraine in 2014. And Beijing was more than happy to embrace closer ties with its northern neighbor as tensions escalated in almost every aspect of its relations with the US.