Day 311: US Concerned By China's Alignment with Russia, State Department Says

The US is concerned by China's alignment with Russia as Moscow continues its invasion of Ukraine, the US State Dept. said on Friday. "Beijing claims to be neutral, but its behavior makes clear it is still investing in close ties to Russia," a spokesperson said

Day 311: US Concerned By China's Alignment with Russia, State Department Says
Image credit: Reuters [via Al Jazeera]

Facts

  • The US is concerned by China's alignment with Russia as Moscow continues its invasion of Ukraine, the US State Dept. said on Friday. "Beijing claims to be neutral, but its behavior makes clear it is still investing in close ties to Russia," a spokesperson said, adding Washington was "monitoring Beijing’s activity closely."
  • It comes as the leaders of both countries, Russia's Vladimir Putin and China's Xi Jinping, held a videoconference call broadcast on state television earlier in the day. Putin said Russia's ties with China are the "best in history" and expressed his desire to increase military cooperation with Beijing. He further said he was expecting Xi to visit Moscow in 2023.
  • In his response, Xi said: "In a changing and turbulent international environment, it is important that China and Russia remain true to the original aspiration of cooperation, maintain strategic focus, enhance strategic coordination, continue to be each other's development opportunity and global partner, and strive to bring more benefits to the two peoples and greater stability to the world."
  • The call between the leaders comes as Moscow unveiled a flurry of legislature further integrating the regions it says it annexed into the Russian Federation. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said: "The process of integrating these republics into Russia’s legal, economic, social and security space is in full swing."
  • Putin also issued a decree exempting soldiers and state employees deployed in Ukraine from paying income tax — Moscow's latest effort to encourage support for its military campaign.
  • On the ground, Russia launched further missile attacks on Kyiv on Saturday. While missile defenses were responsible for some of the blasts heard, Kyiv Mayor Vitali Klitschko said explosions were recorded in three districts of the capital. At least one civilian was reported dead, and 20 more were injured at this stage. Blasts and attacks have also been reported in the regions of Sumy, Dnipropetrovsk, Mykolaiv, and Khmelnytskyi, where two civilians were reported injured.
  • Earlier, Ukrainian officials reported that six civilians had been killed and seven more were injured in Russian attacks in the last 24 hours. Three civilians were killed and three more injured in Donetsk, while two were killed and one was injured in the Kharkiv region. One person was also killed in the Chernihiv region. One injury was reported in Zaporizhzhia, while two more were injured in Kherson.
  • Pro-Russia officials from the Donetsk People's Republic (DPR) reported that one civilian was killed in Ukrainian shelling during the same time period.

Sources: Euractiv, Al Jazeera, CCTV, Tass, Pravda, Ukrinform, and Dan News.

Narratives

  • Pro-establishment narrative, as provided by Firstpost. The US has rightly warned China about military assistance or helping Russia evade sanctions. The world is now watching to see which nations stand up for the basic principles of freedom, self-determination, and sovereignty and which stand by or tacitly support Russia in its premeditated and unprovoked war of choice — a path China is dangerously inclined to take.
  • Establishment-critical narrative, as provided by Global Times. Once again, the US — constantly cozying up to key global players — is embodying double standards and using the war in Ukraine as an excuse to do so. Even before the conflict, Washington was uncomfortable with Moscow-Beijing cooperation, and its ongoing effort to drive a wedge between the two nations is an obvious Hail Mary play to protect its hegemonic status.

Predictions