At Summit, Russia, China Talk Cooperation, Take Little Action

At Summit, Russia, China Talk Cooperation, Take Little Action

Chinese President Hu Jintao and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev had a pleasant, two-day summit last week in Beijing. The agreeable nature of their public encounter was evident when Hu thanked the Russian government for its assistance to the victims of the May 12 earthquake in southwest China, which may have killed as many as 80,000 people. "Between friends, there can be no other kind of relations," Medvedev replied, while offering to provide additional help.

Their only unpleasant comments were directed at third parties. The two governments expressed resentment of Western criticism regarding their human rights practices and actions abroad. A joint statement released by Hu and Medvedev complained that, "Both sides are concerned about the universal nature of the principle of respecting human rights, but believe that every state has a right to encourage and protect them based on its own specific features and characters." They also denounced the practice of employing "double standards" to judge other nations and opposed "using human rights to interfere with other countries' affairs."

In contrast to the decision of many world leaders to boycott the opening session of the Beijing Olympics in August as a symbolic protest against Chinese policies regarding Tibet, Darfur, and other issues, the Russian Ambassador to China, Sergey Razov, pointedly stated that Moscow would send a "high-level" delegation to the opening ceremony and that the Russian contingent at the games would be one of the largest, with some 500 participants. In the joint communiqué issued after the summit, the Russian side denounced "Taiwan independence" and affirmed that "Tibet is an inalienable part of China's territory and it supports the Chinese side's measures taken in accordance with the law to safeguard social stability in Tibet as it is China's internal affair."

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.