President Xi Jinping’s “strategy” to see President Putin suffering in the war with Ukraine
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Xi Jinping’s “real purpose” of visiting Moscow
In May of this year, the Chinese customs authorities suddenly announced that “Russia’s Vladivostok port will be available for use as a transit port for border crossings from June,” and the world media reacted sensitively. “This is the first time the port has been recaptured,” he wrote sensationally.
Of course, Russian President Vladimir Putin wouldn’t be amused if he saw such a headline, but his aides probably won’t overhear him talking about topics that might hurt his mood.
The agreement is for the economic development of the three northeastern provinces (formerly Manchuria) in inland China, allowing them to freely use the port, which is the closest sea gateway, as if it were their own port. The port is a trading port facing the Sea of Japan in the eastern and far eastern regions of Russia, and is also a major military port where the Russian Navy’s Pacific Fleet is headquartered.
Mudanjiang, the center of commerce, industry and transportation in the three northeastern provinces, is the gateway for China’s trade with Russia, and Vladivostok is approximately 240 km to the southeast. However, it is difficult to say that it has been actively used because it requires complicated customs procedures when crossing borders, which takes time, effort, and cost.
In order to improve this situation, in March of this year, Chinese President Xi Jinping personally traveled to Moscow and spoke directly to Mr. Putin. Mr. Putin readily agreed to the agreement, and customs clearance procedures were almost completely abolished for goods passing between China and the port. China is now able to use ports as freely as its own ports.
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In reality, however, Mr. Xi is looking at his ally, who is isolated and without help, and says, “I want to avoid deteriorating relations with the West, so I cannot provide significant military support, but I will help as much as possible.” The discussion appears to have lasted a long time.
Of course, the focus was on the war in Ukraine, and it is not hard to imagine that Mr. Putin pressed for arms and ammunition support from China.
On the other hand, the possibility of free use of the port was also apparently discussed, and “Mr. Putin, who initially expressed reluctance, may have reluctantly accepted the right to use the port freely, hoping to avoid alienating China.” It’s a powerful point of view.
In early March, just before his visit to Russia, Mr. Xi won his third term as president at the National People’s Congress, China’s parliament, and chose Moscow for his first overseas trip, much to the delight of Mr. Putin. There was even a performance.
In contrast, Mr. Putin is not very happy, with the war of invasion of Ukraine turning into an unexpectedly long war of attrition and the domestic economy beginning to suffer. If the two sides enter into negotiations, it will be obvious who has the advantage.
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