A month before China’s 20th Party Congress is scheduled to meet in Beijing, China’s President Xi Jinping will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Uzbekistan on September 15-16. The summit comes on the heels of what ABC News described as “sweeping military drills” by Russian forces, in which Chinese military units participated, and a Sino-Russian agreement to use yuan and rubles instead of dollars to pay for energy supplies.
Western media have speculated that the planned meeting in Uzbekistan will further solidify a growing strategic partnership that both leaders previously characterized as having “no limits.”
It is widely expected that Xi will further consolidate his leadership of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) at the upcoming Party Congress. A few years ago, he engineered a “vote” to end term limits for China’s president, leading some observers to suggest that Xi, who has led China since 2012, will become “president for life” and attain a level of power within the CCP that rivals that once held by Mao Zedong. Putin, meanwhile, confirmed that he will meet with his “reliable partner,” and Russia’s ambassador to China called the upcoming meeting the leaders’ “first full-fledged summit during the pandemic.”
A New York Times article noted that both countries have offered geopolitical support to each other in the current conflict in Ukraine and in ongoing Sino-U.S. disputes in the South China Sea. The Times speculates that the meeting “could offer further symbolism of a Chinese-Russian alliance opposing a Western-led world order.”
A better sense of the importance of the meeting can be gleaned from reading what Russian and Chinese spokespersons and media say about it and the Sino-Russian relationship in general. TASS quoted Kremlin official Yury Ushakov as stating that the meeting “will be very important for obvious reasons.” And Russia’s ambassador to China was quoted referring to Chinese leaders as “our partners.”
Even more revealing, however, was a Global Times piece entitled “China, Russia to strengthen cooperation on the way to a ‘multipolar world.’” This article, which reported on the recently held seventh Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, quoted Putin extensively and favorably. At the forum, Putin said “the West is failing, the future is in Asia,” and “efforts to isolate Russia were in vain amid a pivot toward Asia,” according to the Global Times reporters. The article notes that Putin “said Russia is abandoning the use of the US dollar and British pound” and that both currencies have “lost credibility.” The article boasted that “China is the top investor and biggest trading partner for the Russian Far East” and that both countries are cooperating on the emerging “Arctic shipping route.” The general theme of the article is that the Western-led world order is a thing of the past, and it is being replaced by a multipolar world order led by China and Russia. (READ MORE from Francis P. Sempa: Communist China’s Plot for World Domination)
The choice of the SCO for the summit, as the Marxists say, is no accident. The members of the SCO are China, Russia, India, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan. Observer countries to the SCO are Iran (which has applied for full membership), Afghanistan, Belarus, and Mongolia. Dialogue partner countries are Armenia, Cambodia, Azerbaijan, Sri Lanka, Nepal, and Turkey. Egypt and Syria have applied for observer status, while Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Qatar have petitioned to join the SCO.
Now, look at a map or globe: geographically the SCO occupies a huge swath of the Eurasian landmass, and the organization’s tentacles are spreading to the Middle East and Africa. The territories covered by the SCO also happen to be targets of Beijing’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). The Xi–Putin strategic partnership poses a geopolitical danger to Western democracies similar to that posed by the Nazi–Soviet Pact of 1939–41 and the Sino-Soviet bloc of the early Cold War years. The real significance of the upcoming Xi–Putin summit: Who controls Eurasia, as Halford Mackinder warned, commands the world.