China, Russia vow to buckle up against ‘geopolitical turbulence belt’

Amber Wang
·3-min read

China and Russia said they would resist any attempt to create a “geopolitical turbulence belt” around the two countries as they agreed to strengthen coordination in opposing international interference and sanctions.

Without naming any country, the two nations’ statement after a meeting between their respective ruling parties said they would “oppose the attempts and actions of some countries to interfere in the internal affairs of sovereign countries, impose unilateral sanctions, engage in hegemony and bullying, and create turmoil and chaos under the pretext of democracy and human rights”.

China’s Communist Party and the United Russia party said they agreed at the meeting – their ninth, and held by video on Tuesday – that they would coordinate positions and increase mutual support.

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The United States has imposed an array of sanctions on Russia and last week expelled Russian diplomats, while the US, the European Union, Britain and Canada have placed sanctions on China over alleged human rights abuses in Xinjiang, in China’s far west.

Song Tao, who heads the Communist Party’s international department, said during the dialogue that Beijing and Moscow should resist attempts by “some countries” who were trying to promote a “geopolitical turbulence belt” in China and Russia and their surrounding regions.

Cheng Yijun, a researcher in Russian studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS), said the “belt” referred to armed conflicts around eastern Ukraine, over which global concerns have been mounting.

Ukrainian Foreign Minister Dmytro Kuleba on Tuesday said Russia would soon have more than 120,000 troops on Ukraine’s border, and called for new Western economic sanctions to deter Moscow from “further escalation”, Reuters reported.

According to reports by Chinese nationalistic tabloid Global Times, Boris Gryzlov, head of the Supreme Council of the United Russia party, told the meeting that he thought the US government was pursuing a unipolar world, and that when the US saw countries such as Russia and China not surrendering, it strengthened sanctions and increased activities in areas surrounding the two countries.

“But their pressure will only make our two countries and two political parties stronger,” it quoted Gryzlov as saying.

Yang Jin, an associate research fellow at the Institute of Russian, Eastern European and Central Asian Studies under the CASS, said that “especially under the rising strategic containment of China and Russia from the West, not only the strategic cooperation between two countries should be strengthened but also party diplomacy”.

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The two countries would further enhance economic cooperation, especially through connections between China’s Belt and Road Initiative and Russia’s Eurasian Economic Union, in responding to the sanctions, Yang said.

At the meeting, United Russia also became the first foreign government or ruling party to say it would attend the Chinese Communist Party’s centenary in July, the statement said.

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