Xi Jinping, Ukraine, Russia discussed on Monocle 24: The Globalist
Is the globalist with me M and elson and a very warm welcome to today's program. Ahead in the next 60 minutes, happy to meet an old friend Xi Jinping gives his reaction to his first face to face meeting with Vladimir Putin since Russia invaded Ukraine, but can Russia's president convince the Chinese leader of his actions, also coming up? The first on the matter of Russia and Ukraine, there is no one in South Africa who supports war. This is the position of South Africa. We support a search for peace. U.S. president Joe Biden and South Africa's president Cyril ramaphosa meet at The White House. Are we looking at an era of renewed cooperation? Plus, it's been a year since the U.S., the UK and Australian government formed this. Today we join our nations in the next generation partnership. And so Friends orcus is born. A new enhanced trilateral security partnership between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. We'll ask, has it been worth it? That's all coming up on the globalist life from London. First, look at what else is happening in today's news, a mass grave containing almost 450 bodies has been found near izium days after Ukrainian troops recaptured the city from occupying Russian forces. Iran's president has said that U.S. sanctions must be lifted if a new nuclear deal is to be signed. Military chiefs from 30 NATO countries meet in talent today to discuss the new strategic concept agreed at the alliance's most recent summit in June, and the Republican state governor of Texas says two buses carrying migrants have been deliberately driven to just outside vice president Kamala Harris residence in Washington, D.C.. Stay tuned to monocle 24 throughout the day for more on these stories, but first, the last time China's leader Xi Jinping met the Russian president was in February. It was in Sochi, where Vladimir Putin could display all the prowess of hosting the Winter Olympics. The two men famously declared a friendship with no limits. Days later, Russia invaded Ukraine. Since then, that limitless relationship has not only been tested, but the balance of power between them and new men and two men is no longer equal. And it is in this context that they met again at the Shanghai cooperation organization summit in Samarkand in Uzbekistan. While Natalia vasilyeva is the Moscow correspondent for the telegraph, she joins us from Samarkand and Patricia Thornton is associate professor in the politics of China at the University of Oxford, former acting editor of the China quarterly as well. Good morning to you both. Good morning. Natalie, if we could begin with you, if you could just tell us what it was what it was like yesterday, what happened? Sure. Well, first off, I have to say that this is probably I've covered many some high level meetings in the past. And I have never seen quite the security lockdown that we have here. Cars are barred from the streets, schools, and public office session down. All of that was clearly done for C is making his first visit abroad since the COVID pandemic started. And we didn't really actually hear see much from the two leaders yesterday. They had a meeting with their delegations. They were sitting at a massive table several meters away from each other as we know Chinese pursuing a very strict zero COVID policies. There was one thing that was quite extraordinary that came out of the meeting is the fact that Putin said that he was aware of China's growth concerns and questions about his invasion of Ukraine. Which is quite a stunning admission given the fact that Russia had hoped that China would be all in and. Let's bring in Patricia Thornton, Natalia just mentioned the fact that Vladimir Putin said he understood that Xi Jinping had questions and concerns about the situation in Ukraine. Just how deep do these concerns run? That's a very good question and we honestly we don't know very much because the transcripts or whatever conversations that they have have not yet been released, but of course one thing that one quote that did emerge was that Xi Jinping, first of all, he called Vladimir Putin, his old and his dear friend. But then secondly, and I think more importantly that he called upon his Russian colleague to show an example of being a responsible world power and playing a leading role. So as to take the world onto the trajectory of sustainable and positive development. And many people are thinking many experts are now thinking that this is an implicit criticism of Putin and his waging of this war in Ukraine. It did feel very much, doesn't it, Patricia, that the balance has very much shifted in terms of who wields the ultimate power here. I mean, some news outlets have said that Putin had to go with his hat doffed, his capped off. Oh, absolutely. In this particular case, I mean, Russia has now fallen clearly as a junior partner in this relationship with Xi Jinping really exercising a lot of power and control. When it comes to what China can do in this situation, it has stopped short of sending arms to Ukraine, hasn't it. Yes, and it has, in fact, stopped short of actually mentioning the Ukraine conflict and openly supporting the conflict. But Lee jianshu, who was the third ranking official in China today, did have a meeting in Kazakhstan in which he did praise Russia and talked about again, reasserting its support for Russia and its concerns about provocations coming from and did not mention the U.S., but the west and its allies. How do you think the Russians and indeed Vladimir Putin is going to feel that that he is now not quite on a par with she? Well, I mean, certainly this is a win win situation for China and for Xi Jinping because if Russia becomes weaker, then obviously China is securing its northern border and this can only benefit China. Both regionally and globally, Chinese already been really benefiting from cheaper oil and it's been snapping up those energy supplies of very substantially. And then if China I'm sorry, if Russia emerges victorious somehow in Ukraine, then obviously this is placed into China's hand as well with its unlimited friendship with Putin. So either way, for China, I see this as a win. Just think listing think about the geography a little bit. In the middle of all these in between Russia and China, you have the likes of Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan. And there are several former Soviet former Soviet Central Asian countries, four of which are members of the SCO, which is who are holding this conference, and they don't support Russia's invasion of Ukraine. They used to be part of Ukraine used to be part of the USSR as well. How does this shift the balance for China's neighbors?