Putin arrives in Beijing, to meet Xi as tensions rise with West over Ukraine
Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday arrived in Beijing for the opening of the Winter Olympic Games and talks with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, as the two leaders look to project themselves as a counterweight to the U.S. and its allies.
China has joined Russia in opposing further NATO expansion as the two countries move closer together in the face of Western pressure.
The two countries' lengthy joint statement accuses NATO of espousing a Cold War ideology and also says they are concerned about the AUKUS security pact between the US, UK and Australia.
Meanwhile, Russia said it supported Beijing's One China policy, which asserts that it self-ruled Taiwan as a breakaway province that will eventually be part of China again.
It comes amid tension over Ukraine. Russia denies it is planning to invade. However, the Russian-Chinese statement does not refer to Ukraine, the subject of escalating tension between Russia and the West.
Putin’s presence makes him the highest-profile guest at the event following the decision by the U.S., Britain, and others not to send officials in protest over China’s human rights abuses and its treatment of Uyghurs and other Muslim minorities.
U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, World Health Organization Director Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, and Director-General of the World Intellectual Property Organization Daren Tang were among other dignitaries who arrived Thursday.