The 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing are off to a strong start for America’s enemies.
During the first day of the Winter Olympics, China and Russia declared a “no limits” partnership. Chinese and Russian leadership agreed to support each other in their respective efforts to expand their borders to include the currently independent nations of Taiwan and Ukraine.
According to Reuters, Chinese President Xi Jinping hosted Russian President Vladimir Putin, and the two came to the consensus that their new relationship was “superior to any Cold War-era alliance” and that the two nations “would work together on space, climate change, artificial intelligence and control of the internet.”
Reuters reports that Xi Jinping supported Russia’s demands to exclude Ukraine from NATO and Vladimir Putin agreed to oppose any form of national independence for Taiwan. Both China and Russia have become increasingly aggressive as they seemingly prepare to invade sovereign nations they believe are theirs to reclaim.
Daniel Kritenbrink, the State Department’s leading East Asia diplomat, said, “If Russia further invades Ukraine and China looks the other way, it suggests that China is willing to tolerate or tacitly support Russia’s efforts to coerce Ukraine.”
President Putin endorsed China’s stance that Taiwan is an “inalienable part of China.”
Whereas Russia continues to insist that it is not planning an invasion of Ukraine, Xi Jinping has made clear that it is a matter of “when” and not “if” China makes a move on Taiwan.
Xi Jinping condemned the membership of NATO and how its member states continually inflate their influence while excluding Russia. The Chinese President also supported Russia’s demands for security guarantees from its rivals in Western Europe.
In a joint statement, Russia and China said, “Friendship between the two States has no limits, there are no ‘forbidden’ areas of cooperation.” This new agreement pushes the two country’s friendship to new levels.
During the Xi-Putin meeting, China agreed to a natural gas deal with Russia estimated to be valued around $118 billion and Putin promised to increase exports to China.
This agreement marks the most detailed and aggressive statement of Russia and China’s efforts to recalibrate the global pecking order by unseating the United States as the hegemon. And, the symbolism of its timing cannot be understated. During an international festival that the United States subjected to a diplomatic boycott, America’s two greatest geopolitical rivals more-or-less agreed to usurp the United States.
Russia and China may not be formally allied, but the countries’ new agreement brings them closer than ever before.