During an interview with Bloomberg on Thursday, John Kirby argued that Xi Jinping’s visit to Moscow to meet with Vladimir Putin is “a manifestation of how much China and Russia know that American leadership on the world stage is back” and that there is “a marriage of convenience, certainly not one of affection” between the two.
Kirby said, “I think, first of all, calling this an alliance is a bit of a stretch. I refer to it as a marriage of convenience, certainly not one of affection. President Xi sees in President Putin a useful foil and a counterweight to American influence, particularly in Europe. President Putin sees in President Xi perhaps a bankroll and an opportunity to get more assistance so that he can continue to prop up his economy and to fight this war. They’re working together because they believe that they need each other for very discrete, not necessarily completely overlapping goals. We’re not looking here for a world divided by blocs.”
He continued, “But I think one thing you need to consider, as you consider this visit to Moscow by President Xi, is that it’s also a manifestation of how much China and Russia know that American leadership on the world stage is back and how much they recognize that our network of alliances and partnerships is stronger than any network they might have — these are two countries with not a lot of friends — and that those — and that network is getting stronger and more influential around the world. Look at NATO, for instance, how much more relevant and viable NATO is now, it’s going to grow by another two nations. All of that’s a manifestation of the leadership of this administration and the proof that American leadership on the world stage is, in fact, increasing.”
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