Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping’s three-day summit in Moscow neither advanced a much-hyped peace plan in Ukraine nor an agreement for China to supply Russia with military aid. But the leaders found common ground on one issue: It’s time to end the current U.S.-led world order.
Putin and Xi spent days before the summit saying as much in a set of carefully choreographed opinion pieces. In the Chinese Communist Party-run People’s Daily, Putin accused NATO of expanding “with an eye toward the Asia-Pacific region” in an effort to contain China. In the Russian state-controlled Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Xi said his upcoming trip marked a step toward “multipolarity,” a term used by both great powers to describe their preferred alternative to an American-dominated international system. Both stressed the two countries’ growing “friendship” in the face of a mutual adversary: the United States.