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Vladimir Putin, Xi Jinping close ranks against US on Ukraine

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China joined Russia on Friday to oppose the expansion of NATO amid heightening tensions with Ukraine, while Moscow backed Beijing in denouncing the formation of blocs in the Asia-Pacific region in a veiled reference to the Quad alliance.

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, during their summit on the sidelines of the Beijing Winter Olympics opening ceremony boycotted by diplomats from the US and allies over allegations of violation of human rights against Uygur Muslims in Xinjiang, scaled up the emerging alliance between the two countries to a new level. Putin was the star leader at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics, which was attended by 32 heads of governments and international organisations, including Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan.

India announced a diplomatic boycott of the games after China fielded Qi Fabao, the regimental commander of the People’s Liberation Army, who was injured during the 2020 military face-off with Indian soldiers in the Galwan valley in eastern Ladakh, as a torchbearer for the event’s Torch Relay. After their summit, Xi and Putin issued a lengthy joint statement in which they expressed their firm opposition to the “unilateral approach” by the US to resolve the global disputes. —PTI

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