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China joins Russia in condemning Nato expansion


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China has joined Russia in condemning Nato expansion as the two countries move closer together in the face of Western pressure.

Moscow and Beijing issued a statement showcasing agreement on a raft of issues during a visit by Russia’s Vladimir Putin for the Winter Olympics.

In it Moscow said it supported China’s stance on Taiwan and opposed independence for the island.

It comes amid tension over Ukraine. Russia denies it is planning to invade.

Mr Putin and China’s Xi Jinping have been holding talks ahead of the Winter games opening ceremony.

The Kremlin has said the talks between the leaders were “very warm” and constructive.

The two countries’ lengthy joint statement accuses Nato of espousing a Cold War ideology and also says they are concerned about the Aukus security pact between the US, UK and Australia.

Meanwhile Russia said it supported Beijing’s One China policy, which asserts that self-ruled Taiwan is a breakaway province that will eventually be part of China again.

However, Taiwan sees itself as an independent country, with its own constitution and democratically-elected leaders.

However the Russian-Chinese statement does not refer to Ukraine, the subject of escalating tension between Russia and the West.

Amid a growing war of words, the US on Wednesday accused Russia of planning to stage a fake Ukrainian attack that it would use to justify an invasion.

It alleged Moscow was likely to release a graphic video showing the attack on Russian territory or against Russian-speaking people in eastern Ukraine.

Russia denied it was planning to fabricate an attack, and the US did not provide evidence to support the claim.

News of the alleged plot came a day after the US said it was sending more troops to eastern Europe to support allies in the Nato defensive alliance.

Russia said the move was “destructive” and showed that its concerns about Nato’s eastward expansion were justified.

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