U.S. relations with Russia and China are complicated and a little shaky at times.
So the video conference on Thursday, during which Russian President Vladimir Putin talked about considering a formal military alliance with China, was likely not met with great enthusiasm in American military circles.
When asked this week during a meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club, a Moscow-based think tank group, about whether such a potential development could be imagined, Putin said, “You can imagine everything.”
Then, on Friday, the idea gathered momentum.
Zhao Lijian, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman, sounded as if he approved of the sentiment during a news conference in which he was asked about Putin’s comments.
“China noted President Putin’s positive remarks on China-Russia relations at the annual meetings of the Valdai Discussion Club in recent years, which demonstrates the high level and specialty of our bilateral ties,” he said, adding that all is possible, given the recent improved relations between Beijing and Moscow.
While Putin said no agreement is imminent nor necessary at this time, the two countries “have always assumed that our relations have reached such a degree of interaction and trust that we do not need it, but theoretically it is quite possible to imagine such a thing.”
“There is no limit to China-Russia traditional friendship and no restricted area for expanding our cooperation,” he said. “Under the strategic guidance of President Xi (Jinping) and President Putin, mutual political trust and strategic coordination between the two countries has been enhanced.”
The two are finding more in common today than ever before.
The global powers were at odds during the Cold War’s beginning, but, after the fall of the Soviet Union, Russia and China have made significant inroads toward harmony, especially so since Chinese President Xi took power in 2013.