Putin, Xi and Khamenei: A Trio of Autocrats in a Turbulent World

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Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Beijing on Wednesday, October 18, 2023, on the sidelines of the Belt and Road Forum, a global infrastructure development initiative launched by China a decade ago. The two leaders praised each other’s achievements and expressed their mutual trust and support in the face of international challenges.

Xi said that he and Putin had met 42 times in the past 10 years and developed a good working relationship and a deep friendship. He also called for joint efforts by China and Russia to safeguard international fairness and justice, and to oppose economic sanctions, coercion, decoupling and supply chain disruptions.

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Putin echoed Xi’s remarks, saying that China’s success was important for Russia and that close foreign policy coordination was especially necessary in the current difficult conditions. He also thanked China for its support on the Ukraine issue, which has plunged Russia into a diplomatic isolation and a military confrontation with NATO.

The meeting came as Kyiv continued a counteroffensive to remove Russian troops from its territory, after Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022. China has tried to position itself as a mediator in the conflict, but has refused to condemn Russia’s aggression, which has drawn widespread criticism from the West.

Iran’s Khamenei accuses US of prolonging Ukraine war

Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accused the United States of wanting to keep the war in Ukraine going, in order to weaken Russia and Europe. He made the remarks on Tuesday, October 17, 2023, during a meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Tehran.

Khamenei said that the US was not interested in resolving the crisis peacefully, but rather in creating more problems for Russia and its allies. He also praised Putin for his initiative to invade Ukraine, saying that it prevented NATO from starting the war.

The Iranian leader spoke as Chinese President Xi Jinping was in Moscow to hold talks with Putin. Xi has proposed a political settlement to the yearlong war, based on respect for Ukraine’s sovereignty and territorial integrity, as well as dialogue and consultation among all parties.

Iran has been a staunch ally of Russia and China in the international arena, especially on issues related to Syria, Afghanistan and the nuclear deal. Iran has also been under severe US sanctions since 2018, when former President Donald Trump withdrew from the 2015 agreement that aimed to curb Iran’s nuclear program.

Saudi Arabia’s MBS seeks closer ties with China amid US pressure

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) visited Beijing on Thursday, October 19, 2023, as part of his tour of Asia that also included India and Pakistan. The Saudi leader met with Xi Jinping and discussed ways to enhance their bilateral cooperation in various fields, such as trade, energy, investment, security and culture.

MBS said that Saudi Arabia regarded China as a strategic partner and a friend, and that he hoped to deepen their mutual trust and understanding. He also expressed his appreciation for China’s support on regional and international issues of common concern.

Xi welcomed MBS’s visit and said that China attached great importance to its relations with Saudi Arabia. He also said that China supported Saudi Arabia’s efforts to safeguard its sovereignty, security and stability, as well as its reforms under the Vision 2030 plan.

The visit came as Saudi Arabia faced increasing pressure from the US over its human rights record and its role in the Yemen war. The Biden administration has suspended some arms sales to Saudi Arabia and imposed sanctions on some Saudi officials involved in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. China has been more supportive of Saudi Arabia’s policies and has refrained from criticizing its domestic affairs.

By Kane Wilson

Kane Wilson, founder of this news website, is a seasoned news editor renowned for his analytical skills and meticulous approach to storytelling. His journey in journalism began as a local reporter, and he quickly climbed the ranks due to his talent for unearthing compelling stories. Kane completed his Master’s degree in Media Studies from Northwestern University and spent several years in broadcast journalism prior to co-founding this platform. His dedication to delivering unbiased news and ability to present complex issues in an easily digestible format make him an influential voice in the industry.

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