Speaking Of Asia

Xi Jinping meets Vladimir Putin: The dragon, the bear and the kancil

China and Russia aren’t quite ready to carve each other’s names on trees, but they might be getting there and Asia must prepare for the day.

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in Beijing on Feb 4, 2022. PHOTO: EPA-EFE
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For the most part, lofty joint statements by nations reveal scarcely a gem of concrete development when examined closely. Most of the shiny stuff turns out to be spin on close examination - stones you can throw away without a great sense of loss.

Yet, the 5,000-plus word statement issued last Friday after the summit meeting in Beijing between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin must surely merit some attention. In paragraph after paragraph, no doubt painstakingly crafted weeks before the leaders' meeting, you see the bricks of a cogent worldview being crafted by two nations - one an ascendant power and the other desperate to maintain its global relevance.

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