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25 Mar, 2023 12:45

Biden downplays Russia-China ties

The US president praised Western links, while calling relations between Moscow and Beijing ‘vastly exaggerated’
Biden downplays Russia-China ties

The global community is paying too much attention to cooperation between China and Russia, US President Joe Biden said on Friday. His comments came several days after Chinese President Xi Jinping concluded a landmark three-day visit to Russia.

Speaking at a joint press conference with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, Biden was asked to comment on China’s efforts to deepen economic ties with Russia. The president replied that the Western countries have “significantly expanded our alliances.”

“I haven’t seen that happen with China and/or Russia or anybody else in the world,” he added.

Biden went on to say that he has met with 80% of the world leaders since being sworn into office. “We’re the ones expanding the alliances. The opposition is not,” he claimed.

“We’re in a situation in the United States where NATO is stronger, we’re all together – the G7, the Quad [security agreement between Australia, India, Japan, and the US], the ASEAN [Association of Southeast Asian Nations], Japan, and Korea,” Biden said.

The president stated that while he does not take China and Russia lightly, “we vastly exaggerate” their ties. “I've been hearing now for the past three months about ‘China is going to provide significant weapons to Russia, and they’re going to…’ They haven’t yet. Doesn’t mean they won’t, but they haven’t yet.” 

The US has said that China is considering arms shipments to help Russia in the Ukraine conflict. This claim has been vehemently denied by Beijing, which has positioned itself as a neutral party in the context of hostilities between Moscow and Kiev, while repeatedly calling for a peace settlement.

Earlier this week, Xi wrapped up a three-day visit to Moscow, which included talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and resulted in the signing of more than a dozen agreements on cooperation in the defense, economic, and industrial spheres.

Moscow and Beijing also pledged to “deepen relations of comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction entering a new era,” while urging the US “to stop undermining international and regional security… in order to maintain its own unilateral military superiority.”