‘Moscow, Beijing ties threaten peace’

Taiwan turns the table on China and Russia.

CHINA’S President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin at the trilateral meeting with Mongolia’s President on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization leaders’ summit in Samarkand, Uzbekistan. | ALEXANDR DEMYANCHUK/SPUTNIK/AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

September 17, 2022

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AFP) — Taiwan said on Friday ties between Russia and China were a threat to global peace and that the international community must resist the “expansion of authoritarianism.”

Russia’s Vladimir Putin met Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping for their first face-to-face talks since the start of the conflict in Ukraine on Thursday, hailing their strategic ties in defiance of the West.

In the Uzbek city of Samarkand, Xi told Putin he was “willing to make efforts with Russia to assume the role of great powers.”

Putin reiterated Russia’s support for China’s claim over self-ruled Taiwan which Beijing regards as its own territory and has vowed to one day seize.

The relationship between the two authoritarian leaders has rattled Taipei which fears Xi might one day follow Russia’s lead and invade a neighbor it has long threatened to subdue.

In a statement, Taiwan’s foreign ministry said it “severely condemns Russia for following the Chinese Communist Party’s authoritarian expansionist government to continue to make false statements at international venues that demean our country’s sovereignty.”

“(Russia) calls those who maintain peace and the status quo provocative, which highly demonstrates the harm caused by the alliance of Chinese and Russian authoritarian regimes on international peace, stability, democracy and freedom,” the statement added.

For Xi, attending the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Samarkand is an opportunity to shore up his credentials as a global statesman ahead of a pivotal congress of the ruling Communist Party in October where he is expected to secure a precedent busting third term.

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