China, Russia put foot down on US moves in Asia, ratchet up solidarity with N. Korea

Posted on : 2024-05-17 16:55 KST Modified on : 2024-05-17 16:55 KST
The statement adopted at this summit in Beijing took a more confrontational stance on Washington’s alliance network in the region
Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the latter’s state visit to Beijing on May 16, 2024. (AFP/Yonhap) 
Chinese President Xi Jinping shakes hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin during the latter’s state visit to Beijing on May 16, 2024. (AFP/Yonhap) 

During their summit in Beijing on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed their intent to check US policies in the Asia region. Statements by the two leaders also gave clearer pictures of their trilateral relationship with North Korea.   

To commemorate 75 years of diplomatic relations, Xi and Putin released a joint statement on Thursday to “deepen” their “new-era comprehensive strategic partnership.” The joint statement said that Russia and China “oppose the acts of military intimidation by the US and its allies that escalate confrontation with North Korea, which may lead to armed incidents and a rise in tensions on the Korean Peninsula.” 

Putin and Xi released a joint statement in March 2023 when the latter visited Russia for a state visit. That statement merely “expressed concern” about the situation in the Korean Peninsula, and urged all parties to exercise restraint in order to deescalate the situation. It also claimed that sanctions and international pressure on Pyongyang were unjustified and impractical, pushing for dialogue instead.  

Compared to the previous statement, this latest one comes across as much more aggressive and confrontational.  

As Russia continues to clash with the US and the West in general, Moscow has been deepening its ties with Pyongyang. This progression was clearly reflected in Putin’s latest summit with the Chinese leader. As a permanent member of the UN Security Council, Russia voted against the renewal of a mandate for an expert panel for monitoring North Korea’s activity in regard to sanctions violations on March 28. China abstained from voting. Consequently, the UN panel of experts for monitoring North Korea’s compliance with sanctions concluded its run on April 30.  

Putin may visit North Korea after Beijing summit  

It also looks as if Putin is planning a visit to North Korea, which would be his first in 24 years. Putin held a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un last September at the Vostochny Cosmodrome in the Russian Far East. At the post-summit banquet, Kim requested that Putin visit North Korea, to which the Russian leader agreed. This is why the Washington Post reported that Putin may travel to North Korea after concluding his summit with Xi on Friday.  

Putin and Xi also expressed concern over Washington’s attempts to fortify its alliance network in the Asia-Pacific region. Their joint statement specifically referred to the US’ Indo-Pacific strategy as having a negative influence on peace and stability in the region and accused NATO and the US of being engaged in “disruptive moves” in the Asia-Pacific region.  

In last year’s joint statement, Xi and Putin accused the US and its Indo-Pacific strategy of clinging to a “Cold War mentality,” and claimed that Washington’s strategic initiatives were threatening peace and stability in the Asia-Pacific region. Compared to the March statement, however, the recent one is much harsher in its criticism of the US.  

In a post-summit press conference, Putin said that Russia is pursuing a reliable security structure in the Asia-Pacific region, which he said, “has no place for closed military-political alliances.”  

“We believe that creating such an alliance is very harmful and unproductive,” he added.  

This statement is likely a criticism of AUKUS, the trilateral security partnership between Australia, the UK and the US.  

By Choi Hyun-june, Beijing correspondent; Cho Ki-weon, staff reporter 

Please direct questions or comments to [

button that move to original korean article (클릭시 원문으로 이동하는 버튼)

Related stories

Most viewed articles