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20 May, 2014 12:31

Russia & China: ‘No to sanctions rhetoric, regime change in other countries’

Russia & China: ‘No to sanctions rhetoric, regime change in other countries’

Moscow and Beijing have rejected the imposition of sanctions as political tools and condemned attempts at “encouraging and financing” regime changes in other countries in a joint statement released during President Putin’s official visit to China.

Having faced economic sanctions and threats of more of to come from the West, Russia has turned to the East, seeking to boost business ties in a friendlier environment. An impressive package of deals on energy, business and infrastructure has already been signed in Shanghai.

More is yet to come, judging by the title of the joint statement by Beijing and Moscow, which promises “a new stage in full-scale partnership and strategic relations.”

Boosting mutual trade is not all there is to that “new stage,” as following the meeting with Xi, the Russian president shared expectations of closer cooperation between the countries in international politics.

We have common priorities on a global and on a regional scale,” Putin said. “We’ve agreed upon closer coordination of our foreign policy steps, including those in the UN, BRICS and APEC,” he added.

Among attitudes Russia and China share is their mutual dislike of economic restrictions imposed for political reasons.

The parties stress the necessity to… reject unilateral sanctions rhetoric,” the joint statement reads.

Economic restrictions applied as punishment are no better than financial aid to forces that seek “a change in constitutional system of another country,” the Russian-Chinese statement says.

Moscow still feels bitter about the role it believes the US played in the Ukrainian coup. Russia has accused Washington of investing $5 billion in the regime change in Kiev.

A number of European politicians, meanwhile, acknowledged the EU might have been pressing Ukraine too hard to sign the integration deal which, according to German Vice-Chancellor Sigmar Gabriel, could have created “the impression in Ukraine that it had to decide between Russia and the EU."

Russia's President Vladimir Putin (L) and China's President Xi Jinping shake hands after signing an agreement during a bilateral meeting at the Xijiao State Guesthouse ahead of the fourth Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) summit, in Shanghai May 20, 2014.(Reuters / Carlos Barria)

The ongoing political crisis in Ukraine can only be resolved peacefully, Putin and Xi Jinping believe, calling on political opponents in Ukraine to switch from confrontation to dialogue.

"The sides urged all Ukrainian regions and public and political groups to enter in broad nationwide talks, develop jointly a concept of further constitutional development of the country, envisaging full observation of universally recognized rights and freedoms of people," the statement reads.

News rules for cyberspace

Russia and China have called for creation of new “universal rules of behavior in information space,” citing concerns over some of communication technologies “running contrary to international stability and security, damaging countries’ sovereignty and violating personal privacy.”

The ‘rules for internet’ comment comes amid scandal with US and China trading accusations of online espionage.

On Monday, a grand jury in the United States indicted five Chinese military - allegedly officers of an elite cyber squad - with hacking into American computer networks and stealing sensitive business information from US companies.

China dismissed all US accusations and published proof that Washington is actually stealing data from China. The Chinese Foreign Ministry also summoned the American ambassador to China for an explanation, urging him to drop all charges against China’s military officers.