It’s hard to put up a strongman image when your own audience doesn’t respect you.
Ahead of a speech by Russia’s President Vladimir Putin praising his relationship with China, several people walked out at the summit being held in Beijing. The staged walkout included Jean-Pierre Raffarin, former prime minister of France, and other European delegates.
Following remarks by Chinese President Xi Jinping, Putin was set to speak as video showed the audience members clearly standing and exiting the room.
Jean-Pierre Raffarin, représentant de la France au forum des nouvelles routes de la soie à Pékin, quitte la salle avant le discours de Vladimir Poutine. “Pas d’interaction avec les Russes sous quelque forme que ce soit”, avance-t-on côté français. pic.twitter.com/Id5jN9ETAE
— Frédéric Schaeffer (@fr_schaeffer) October 18, 2023
“The Russian president arrived in China as a guest at Beijing’s third installment of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – Beijing’s multibillion-dollar infrastructure project aimed at increasing the country’s global standing by connecting China to other parts of the world through road, train, and port project investments,” U.K.’s Independent reported.
The Chinese president “opened the ceremony in the presence of several world leaders and more than 1,000 delegates at the Great Hall of the People, west of Tiananmen Square,” the outlet noted.
Russian “isolation”. President Putin enters the state banquet at the Great Hall of the People with China’s Xi Jingping and with representatives of 130 countries at the forum on China’s vast global trade and infrastructure project- the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). pic.twitter.com/VcNKzewpxr
— Marinochka (@joiedevivre789) October 17, 2023
“Russia and China, like most countries of the world, share the desire for equal, mutually beneficial cooperation in order to achieve universal sustainable and long-term economic progress and social well-being, while respecting the diversity of civilization and the right of each State to its own development model,” Putin said.
“When we start something big, we expect that it will be successful. But understanding the global scale, it is hard to expect everything will be well,” Putin reportedly said at the event. “But our Chinese friends did it.”
The Russian president called his Chinese counterpart his “dear friend” and spoke of the creation of a Northern Sea Route.
“Starting next year, navigation for ice-class cargo ships along the entire length of the Northern Sea Route will become year-round,” he said.
Putin: China is successfully implementing the “One Belt, One Road” initiative, and Russia is happy about it
What else did the Russian leader say at the meeting with Xi Jinping :
▪️ Russia invites all interested countries to participate in the development of the Northern Sea… pic.twitter.com/2MM6I44uvr
— Sprinter (@Sprinter99800) October 18, 2023
Meanwhile, Xi spoke of the close relationship between their nations and spoke out against the West and efforts to decouple from China’s economy.
“Ideological confrontation, geopolitical rivalry and bloc politics are not the choice for us, but we stand against economic sanctions, economic coercions, and decoupling and supply chain disruptions,” he said.