ROME – As President Xi Jinping of China continues his “journey of friendship, cooperation and peace” to Moscow to cement ties with President Vladimir Putin, the outing is setting off alarms in Western capitals, where officials are worried, among other things, that Beijing’s heretofore tacit support for Russia’s war in Ukraine might turn overt.
More broadly, Western leaders seem to fear the leaders of the world’s two largest and most powerful authoritarian states are cementing an anti-democratic alliance. White House national security spokesman John Kirby groused that “these are two countries that have long chafed at U.S. leadership around the world,” while American Secretary of State Anthony Blinken warned that Xi’s visit just after Putin had been indicted by the International Criminal Court for war crimes will “provide diplomatic cover for Russia to continue to commit those very crimes.”
As Financial Times columnist Gideon Rachman put it, “Russia and China remain close partners — linked by their joint hostility to America and its allies.”
Yet there was one traditionally Western center of power that seemed immune to the anxiety: The Vatican under Pope Francis.
READ ON BELOW>>>Pope Francis’s Vatican doesn’t share Western alarm over Xi-Putin summit | Crux
Pope Francis’s Vatican doesn’t share Western alarm over Xi-Putin summit | Crux