Putin hosts top Chinese gen, calls for closer military ties
Russian President Vladimir Putin praised the important "high-tech" military cooperation between Russia and China during a meeting in Moscow with a top Chinese general who is a close ally of President Xi Jinping¹.
Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted China's top general, General Li Zuocheng, in Moscow on November 10, 2023. The two leaders discussed a wide range of issues, including military cooperation. Putin called for closer military ties between Russia and China, saying that it was "necessary" to "respond to the challenges of the modern world."
Li echoed Putin's sentiments, saying that China and Russia should "strengthen strategic cooperation" and "deepen military exchanges and cooperation."
The meeting between Putin and Li comes at a time of heightened tensions between Russia and the West. Russia is facing a barrage of sanctions from Western countries over its invasion of Ukraine. China has also been criticized by the West for its human rights record and its support for Russia.
The meeting between Putin and Li is also a sign of the growing closeness between Russia and China. The two countries have been deepening their cooperation in recent years, both economically and militarily.
Implications of closer military ties between Russia and China
The closer military ties between Russia and China have a number of implications.
First, they make it more likely that the two countries will support each other in the event of a conflict with the United States or other Western countries. For example, if Russia were to invade a NATO country, China could provide Russia with military assistance.
Second, the closer military ties between Russia and China could lead to an arms race in the Asia-Pacific region. Other countries in the region, such as Japan, South Korea, and Australia, may feel compelled to increase their military spending in response to the growing military cooperation between Russia and China.
Third, the closer military ties between Russia and China could make it more difficult to resolve international disputes peacefully. If Russia and China are seen as being aligned on a particular issue, it may be more difficult for other countries to reach a compromise.
What can the United States and its allies do?
The United States and its allies need to take a number of steps to address the challenge posed by the closer military ties between Russia and China.
First, they need to strengthen their own military alliances. For example, the United States should work to deepen its military cooperation with Japan, South Korea, and Australia.
Second, the United States and its allies need to increase their defense spending. This will help to ensure that they are able to deter aggression from Russia and China.
Third, the United States and its allies need to work to resolve international disputes peacefully. This will help to reduce the risk of a conflict between Russia and China or between Russia and the West.