Chinese President Xi Jinping paid a visit to Russia this week amid calls by the International Criminal Court (ICC) to arrest President Vladimir Putin for war crimes having to do with the apparent abduction of Ukrainian children.
Xi’s visit to Russia appears to be one of support for the Eastern European power, suggesting that China will not back down from the West in its bid to be taken seriously as a major world power.
Feng Sheng, a researcher for a think tank affiliated with Warming Hi-tech, said: “This visit will clearly tell the Americans that China is not to be intimidated. As a major power, it is our right and freedom to visit any country we want to visit.”
“What other countries will see is that China is not afraid of American hegemony … What we Chinese see is that our head of state has such strategic courage and wisdom — in a word — strength!”
The Washington Post reported that China’s active friendship with Russia is an apparent effort to destabilize US efforts to keep Beijing from rising as a major geo-political player. Xi’s political strategy is to help cement a world order that does not include the US as its leader.
The Post noted that there was an article published by Chinese and Russian state media, where Xi said that “there is no country in the world that is superior to others,” adding that there is no governing strategy that is “universally applicable and there is no international order in which one country has the final say.”
Xi has garnered support from analysts in countries such as Belarus, Kazakhstan, Iran, Pakistan, and Russia, who have characterized the Chinese leader’s ideas about peaceful international relations as possibly “the most powerful and pertinent idea in this century.”
However, Xi’s meeting with Putin has been met with some pushback, as one user on Weibo wrote: “[U]p to now, China has not issued a single condemnation of Russian aggression.”
A second person, drawing attention to China’s position in relation to Japan during World War II, wrote: “[H]ow can China not see how Ukraine feels?”
A third wrote: “Anyone with any sense can see that what Russia has done is a naked act of aggression.”
The Post reported that the coverage of the two leaders meeting has been “carefully curated,” leaving little-to-no room for discussion or criticism about how events have played out.