China and Russia are strengthening their ties between the two authoritarian powers. On Feb. 21, China’s top diplomat Wang Yi met with Russian leader Vladimir Putin, where they discussed furthering their strategic partnership. Wang said that the current international situation is complex and requires the two countries to deepen their relationship. This meeting was the highest-level visit between the two nations since last February when Putin visited Beijing.
Since then, China has provided Russia with economic support, increased their military cooperation, and have held joint military exercises off the coast of South Africa. U.S. and NATO leaders believe that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) is providing other support for Russia’s illegal attempts to conquer Ukraine, such as a massive cyber attack on Ukrainian military and civilian infrastructure.
In an attempt to avoid defeat in Ukraine and undermine the U.S.-led international order, Putin has invited CCP leader Xi Jinping to visit Moscow. There is speculation that Xi will make a “peace speech” on Feb. 25, calling for a political settlement to the war in Ukraine involving the acceptance of Russian conquests.
When asked how the U.S. is prepared to face the threat of a militarily unified China and Russia, Marine Corps Lt. Gen. Karsten Heckl said the U.S. military represents the broader international order and can meet any challenge.