Illustration photo – Top Chinese diplomat Wang I at the Munich Security Conference, February 18, 2023.
Moscow – China's top diplomat Wang Yi described Sino-Russian relations as “solid as a rock” in Moscow today. In the Russian capital, he met with the Secretary of the Russian Security Council, Nikolai Patrushev, who identified Beijing as a priority for Russian foreign policy and emphasized that the two great powers must stick together to resist Western pressure. According to The Wall Street Journal, Chinese President Xi Jinping plans to visit Moscow in the coming months.
“Sino-Russian relations have a mature character and are solid as a rock, able to withstand the test of the changing international situation,” a Chinese official said, according to TASS. “Currently, we have very good opportunities to continue our close strategic cooperation and contacts to defend our common strategic interests,” he said.
“In the given context (of Western pressure on Russia and China), I want to confirm our unwavering support for Beijing on the issues of Taiwan, Xinjiang, Tibet and Hong Kong, which the West uses to discredit China,” said Patrushev, considered one of the closest collaborators of the Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The West criticizes China for its treatment of Muslim Uighurs in Xinjiang province and for suppressing democratic opposition in Hong Kong.
China did not condemn the unprovoked Russian invasion of Ukraine and de facto rejects any international sanctions except those approved by the United Nations (UN).
In a speech at a security conference in Beijing, Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Kang called on countries to “stop fueling” the war in Ukraine and expressed Beijing's concern about the escalation of the Ukraine crisis. “We call on certain countries to immediately stop fanning the flames, stop blaming China and stop repeating: Ukraine today, Taiwan tomorrow,” Qin also said.
According to information provided by The Wall Street Journal from unnamed sources, the Chinese president is planning to visit Moscow in April or May and hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin there. The preparations for the trip are at the very beginning. According to the newspaper, China wants to strengthen its role in diplomatic negotiations on the cessation of fighting in Ukraine. This week, Beijing is expected to publish some of its proposals to end the fighting, and Xi is expected to give a “peace speech” on the first anniversary of the war, Wang said earlier.
China considers Taiwan part of it and threatens it with military intervention in case he declares independence. However, Taiwan has been de facto independent since 1949, with its own government and democratic establishment.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken expressed concern on Sunday that Beijing was considering providing Russia with military equipment to fight in Ukraine, including weapons and ammunition. China denied his claims.
Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said, according to the TASS agency, that “it is not excluded” that Wang will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin.