Chinese president tells U.S. to stop interference

| Saturday, March 23, 2013, 5:57 p.m.

MOSCOW — Chinese President Xi Jinping warned against foreign interference in the affairs of other nations during a speech in Moscow on Saturday, sending a signal to the West and echoing a message from Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Permanent U.N. Security Council members with veto power, Russia and China often teamed up diplomatically to blunt the influence of the United States and its NATO allies. They criticized the NATO bombing that helped rebels overthrow Libyan leader Moammar Gadhafi in 2011, stood together in the Security Council in votes on the Iranian and North Korean nuclear programs and blocked three draft resolutions on Syria.

“We must respect the right of each country in the world to independently choose its path of development and oppose interference in the internal affairs of other countries,” Xi told students at an international relations school.

“Strong Chinese-Russian relations ... not only answer to our interests but also serve as an important, reliable guarantee of an international strategic balance and peace.”

Viktor Yaskov, a student who attended Xi's address, said the Chinese leader made “a good impression,” but expressed fears about the neighbor. “We're worried about Chinese economic expansion,” he said.

Both China and Russia have bristled at U.S. and European criticism of their human rights records.

Putin said in a foreign policy decree issued at the start of his new term that Russia would counter attempts to use human rights as a pretext for interference, and his government has cracked down on foreign-funded non-governmental organizations, known as NGOs, which do human and civil rights work abroad.

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