Putin reelected; ‘China-Russia ties to continue to make progress’
Published: Mar 18, 2024 04:57 PM
A screen shows preliminary results of the 2024 Russian presidential election at the headquarters of Russia's Central Election Commission in Moscow on March 17, 2024. After the ballots were counted on March 18, incumbent president Vladimir Putin was reelected and will serve another six-year term. Photo: VCG

A screen shows preliminary results of the 2024 Russian presidential election at the headquarters of Russia's Central Election Commission in Moscow on March 17, 2024. After the ballots were counted on March 18, incumbent president Vladimir Putin was reelected and will serve another six-year term. Photo: VCG

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday congratulated Vladimir Putin on his reelection as Russian president, as Putin has addressed his supporters and declared his reelection victory earlier on the same day following the victory of presidential election with over 87 percent of the vote in his favor. 

Chinese analysts said that several major powers will hold elections this year, and Russia's presidential election result has provided certainty to a world in turbulence, as Putin's victory proves that Russian people widely support his governance and Russia's policies and stances over key issues like the Ukraine crisis and its relations with other major powers will unlikely undergo dramatic change.

Putin's reelection will bring certainty to the future development of the China-Russia relations, as the consensus reached by the top leaders of the two countries will be implemented and further promoted, according to experts, adding that China maintains its objective stance on the Ukraine crisis and will continue its efforts to help relevant parties to find a solution for political settlement. 

China-Russia strategic ties

According to the Xinhua News Agency, in a congratulatory message to Putin on his reelection as Russian president, President Xi said China attaches great importance to the development of China-Russia relations. China stands ready to maintain close communication with Russia to promote the sustained, sound, stable and in-depth development of China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era to benefit the two nations and their people.

In recent years, the Russian people have united as one, overcome challenges, and made steady progress towards national development and revitalization, Xi said, adding that the reelection of Putin as Russian president fully reflects the Russian people's support for him. Russia will surely make greater achievement in national development and construction under Putin's leadership, Xi said.

Chinese experts said Xi's congratulatory message shows China has confidence in Russia's internal stability and development, and China will continue to actively develop bilateral ties to benefit the two peoples without targeting any third party. 

While retaining an objective stance and making efforts to mediate the Ukraine crisis, China will continue to coordinate with Russia on international issues that the both sides share concerns and will jointly safeguard the international order and the global strategic balance, said analysts.

Cui Heng, a scholar from the Shanghai-based China National Institute for SCO International Exchange and Judicial Cooperation, told the Global Times on Monday that the friendship between top leaders of the two countries is the guarantee of the stability of China-Russia relations. 

The two countries will mark the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties this year, and they are expected to promote their ties to higher level and further coordinate their stances on multilateral mechanisms. The development of China-Russia relations sees great certainty, and the long-term stability of the ties can be expected," Cui noted.

During his speech on Monday, Putin said "Taiwan is an inherent part of the People's Republic of China (PRC)," and China has many friends in the international arena, and those who do not regard China as a friend are bound to fail in provoking China on Taiwan question and imposing sanctions against China. 

Analysts said Putin's remarks showed that Russia also has great confidence in China's development and China's national strength to safeguard its own interests despite pressure and threat from the US, in other words, Russia is confident and optimistic in its decision of building and promoting close strategic ties with China.

China highly commends President Putin's statement. There is but one China in the world, the government of the People's Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China, and Taiwan is an inalienable part of China's territory. This is a prevailing international consensus and a basic norm governing international relations, Lin Jian, a spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry said at the routine press conference on Monday. 

Future of Ukraine crisis

According to TASS, with 99.43 percent of ballots counted as of 7:00 am Moscow time (4:00 am GMT), Russian presidential race frontrunner and incumbent President Putin leads the 2024 presidential race with 87.32 percent of the vote, according to information published on the Russian Central Election Commission's official website. 

This result proves that Western attempts to challenge the rule of Putin administration by sanctions and supporting anti-Putin forces within Russia has failed, as vast majority of Russian people continue to support Putin and his government, experts said.

Putin will have another six-year term, and whether the US and its allies like this result or not, they will have to face the reality and they might need to find a more pragmatic and flexible way to deal with Russia on the Ukraine crisis, Yang Jin, an associate research fellow at the Institute of Russian, Eastern European and Central Asian Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Monday. 

Putin said on Monday that Moscow has always favored peace talks, as long as the opponents are serious about establishing good neighborly relations in the long term, not just because "the adversary has run out of ammunition," RT reported.

Russian President also said that Russia is ready to consider various scenarios, provided that they align with Russia's national interest. "But since Kiev barred talks with the current leadership in Moscow, and President Vladimir Zelensky has no intention to hold elections," it will require "painstaking research" to even figure out "who to negotiate with over there," Putin said, according to RT.

Cui said Russia has once again expressed its open attitude for talks, but from Russia's perspective, the current leadership in Kiev might not be treated as an ideal counterpart, so now the ball is in the West and Ukraine's court. 

Weighing in on the possibility of a direct confrontation between NATO and Russia, Putin said that "anything is possible in the modern world" and warned that it "would be one step shy of a full-scale World War III." 

This is a warning to the West, especially to the US, and since Putin gets reelected, Washington needs to consider whether to keep the costly and dangerous confrontation with Russia or find a way out by negotiation and accept mediation provides by other third parties including China, and if Russia achieves more victories in the battlefield, the situation will be worse for the West and Ukraine, experts said.