Despot Xi could betray ally Putin and INVADE Russia…Vlad should beware the company he keeps, ex-Brit Navy chief warns

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CHINESE president Xi Jinping could betray his outcast ally Vladimir Putin as part of his campaign for global domination, said an ex-navy chief.

The pair of despots look increasingly cosy on the surface - but Lord Admiral West warned that Xi could be set on seizing Russia's resource-rich territory.

Admiral Lord West believes Xi's long term goal could be to tear up his alliance with Putin and invade Siberia

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Admiral Lord West believes Xi's long term goal could be to tear up his alliance with Putin and invade SiberiaCredit: The Sun

He told The Sun's defence show that Putin was playing a dangerous game with Xi

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He told The Sun's defence show that Putin was playing a dangerous game with XiCredit: The Sun

The pair of tyrants looking cosy on their state visit last week that solidified their burgeoning alliance

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The pair of tyrants looking cosy on their state visit last week that solidified their burgeoning alliance

Speaking on The Sun's World at War show, Lord West branded Putin a submissive "supplicant" to a far more powerful Xi.

He argued their flourishing, but not strictly defined, alliance could fall apart if the Chinese leader got too greedy.

The former First Sea Lord believes Xi's long-term strategy could be to invade parts of Russia and capture its bountiful oil fields and other raw materials.

He said: "If it really gets very bad and they desperately need resources I think there’s a very real risk they cold decide to take the bits of Siberia they want.

"It is all about resources. Resources are going to become more and more of a problem for China.

"They have already issued maps of Siberia that have Chinese names."

"That is why Putin is playing with fire. The Chinese don't like him."

Referencing Putin's cuddly state visit to Beijing last week, he said: "He looks like the little teddy bear about to be eaten, doesn't he?

"[That is] the danger of supping with the devil."

Since Russia's full-scale of Ukraine over two years ago, Putin has relied on Xi as a lifeline, increasing his economic dependence on China as Western sanctions cut off access to much of the international trading system.

In response to this growing trend, the former navy chief warned that the West needed to keep the pressure on Moscow with "biting" sanctions because that is what Beijing is most fearful of.

"That's why Xi's not been all out [in his] support for Russia," he said, adding that's why he has not given Putin all the weapons he needs.

It comes as UK Defence Minister Grant Shapps confirmed on Wednesday that Xi is flogging weapons to Putin to feed his war in Ukraine.

The world is MORE dangerous than during Cold War - and yet we cannot defend ourselves

Spies tracked “lethal aid” from China to Russia and into Ukraine in what Shapps called a “significant development” and warned: “We should be concerned.”

The minister said it blows open China’s claim to be a handbrake on Putin’s Ukraine slaughter - despite the UK long suspecting China was arming Russia.

Shapps warned an “axis of authoritarian states led by Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea” were increasingly working together.

Lord West is equally fearful of this new axis of evil.

"Xi has said that he sees this as a turning point in history, like the first 40 years of the 20th century with the two world wars when we established a world order that has done the world proud.

"They would like to change that world order. And he's saying, I think this is a chance to do it."

It comes as today China staged unprecedentedly large war drills in a mock invasion of Taiwan.

Beijing said the exercises that encircled its self-governing island neighbour was a "punishment" for its new president's so-called "declaration of war" speech.

Taiwan, which China regards as its own territory, has condemned the military drills as "irrational provocations".

Putin & Xi's 'no limits' friendship

JUST before Vladimir Putin invaded Ukraine, he and his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping declared a 'no limits' friendship.

Last week, the two leaders signed a joint statement on deepening the comprehensive strategic partnership between their two nations on their 75th anniversary of diplomatic ties.

Xi said China and Russia will continue to uphold a position of non-alliance and non-confrontation.

The May 16 meeting was yet another affirmation of the friendly no limits relationship they signed in 2022.

Since then, Russia has become increasingly economically dependent on China as Western sanctions cut its access to much of the international trading system.

China's increased trade with Russia, totalling $240 billion last year, has helped the country mitigate some of the worst blowback from sanctions.

Moscow has diverted the bulk of its energy exports to China and relying on Chinese companies for importing high-tech components for Russian military industries to circumvent Western sanctions.

Shapps's warning comes just a few days after Putin, met his Chinese counterpart in Beijing during his two-day visit.

The two despots, who remain close allies, pledged a "new era" of partnership.

They had declared a "no limits" relationship in 2022 - days before the invasion of Ukraine.

They were seen sharing a warm embrace after spending an informal evening together drinking tea and eating snacks.

Only hours earlier, Putin and Xi signed a lengthy statement which sharpened their opposition to a US-led world order.

Xi said: "The China-Russia relationship is hard-earned, and the two sides need to cherish and nurture it."

ON THE BRINK

Lord West also warned the world is more dangerous now than during the Cold War.

He said the era of nuclear-sabre rattling between global superpowers was "safer in some ways because everyone understood it".

The world now, he argued, is "very unpredictable" as he listed off the wars in UkraineGazaSudan and the escalating tensions in the South China Sea.

But as we move into what British leaders have called a "pre-war world", West declared that our armed forces are "not of a size they should be".

He said: "At long last, I think people are understanding: 'Goodness me, we've taken too much out of defence'," but added that for too long the forces have been "hollowing out."

The bizarre moment Putin and Xi hugged not once, but twice, after a day spent strolling through a compound and sharing tea and snacks.

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The bizarre moment Putin and Xi hugged not once, but twice, after a day spent strolling through a compound and sharing tea and snacks.Credit: AP

Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said China has been flogging Russia weapons for its war in Ukraine

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Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said China has been flogging Russia weapons for its war in UkraineCredit: Rex

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