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Chinese President Xi Jinping voiced support for Russia’s “sovereignty and security” during a call with Vladimir Putin on Wednesday, while the Kremlin said the two leaders agreed to boost cooperation in areas energy, finance and industry.
China’s support for Russia has come under increased scrutiny from the United States following Putin’s invasion of Ukraine, which Xi has so far refused to condemn.
“Xi pointed out that China has always independently assessed the [situation in Ukraine] based on the historical background and merits of the matter, and has actively promoted world peace and the stability of the world economic order,” Chinese state media Xinhua said in a reading of the appeal.
“All parties should push for a proper settlement of the Ukraine crisis in a responsible manner,” Xi said, adding that to this end, China will continue to play its due role.
State Department spokesman Ned Price on Thursday chastised Xi and Putin’s appeal, accusing China of “echoing Russian propaganda.”
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“To put it bluntly, we are concerned about China’s alignment with Russia,” Price said during a briefing.
“The [People’s Republic of China] has already made its choice. More than three months now after the start of the Russian invasion of Ukraine, of China, despite the atrocities that have been committed, despite the violence, despite the loss of life, despite the global implications, including in this When it comes to food insecurity, not just in the region but far beyond, China always chooses to stand with Russia,” he added.
Just weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine, Putin visited Xi in Beijing during the Winter Olympics and the two leaders issued a 5,000-word statement saying their partnership had ” no limits”.
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The Kremlin, meanwhile, said “Russian-Chinese relations are at an unprecedented level and are constantly improving.”
“The Chinese president noted the legitimacy of Russia’s actions to protect its core national interests in the face of challenges to its security created by external forces,” the Kremlin said in a statement.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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