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China and Russia issue a joint statement opposing NATO expansion

China and Russia issue a joint statement opposing NATO expansion

The two countries have issued a joint call for NATO to stop its eastward expansion, calling for an end to a "cold war mentality".

Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping met shortly before the Winter Olympics opening ceremony to hold their first in person meeting since the start of the coronavirus pandemic. Following the meeting, a statement was published on the Kremlin's website.

The statement comes as tensions continue to rise over a perceived threat of Russian invasion of Ukraine, with around 100,000 Russian troops believed to be at the Ukrainian border. Russia has denied that it has any hostile intentions, and has asked for guarantees that NATO will not accept Ukraine and Georgia as member states.

The statement says that the signatory parties are concerned about the trilateral military agreement between the UK, USA and Australia, known as AUKUS. The statement reads:

"[We] are seriously concerned about the [AUKUS], which provides for deeper cooperation between its members in areas involving strategic stability, in particular their decision to initiate cooperation in the field of nuclear-powered submarines. Russia and China believe that such actions are contrary to the objectives of security and sustainable development of the Asia-Pacific region, increase the danger of an arms race in the region, and pose serious risks of nuclear proliferation. The sides strongly condemn such moves and call on AUKUS participants to fulfil their nuclear and missile non-proliferation commitments in good faith and to work together to safeguard peace, stability, and development in the region."

Russia also reaffirmed their support for the "One China Principal", that "Taiwan is an inalienable part of China, and [Russia] opposes any forms of independence of Taiwan."

The statement also claimed that there are no "forbidden areas of cooperation" between the two states:

"[The two states] reaffirm that the new inter-State relations between Russia and China are superior to political and military alliances of the Cold War era. Friendship between the two States has no limits, there are no ”forbidden“ areas of cooperation, strengthening of bilateral strategic cooperation is neither aimed against third countries nor affected by the changing international environment and circumstantial changes in third countries."

The statement also contained support for:

  • Further cooperation between the two countries to combat the ongoing covid pandemic
  • A "global anti-terrorism front"
  • Reducing the importance of nuclear weapons in national security policies
  • More international oversight of Japan's plans to dispose of nuclear contaminated water from Fukushima
  • Re-affirmation of the effectiveness and importance of the international prohibition of chemical and biological weapons
  • A "strengthening of dialogue" regarding the development of artificial intelligence
  • Further development of Russia-India-China collaboration

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