Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin (left) and his Chinese counterpart Li Qiang during talks in Beijing, May 24, 2023.
Beijing – Pressure from the West is strengthening relations between Russia and China, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin said today, according to the AP agency, during a meeting with his Chinese counterpart Li Qiang in Beijing. The Chinese Prime Minister said that China wants to develop pragmatic cooperation with Russia and raise it to a new level.
The development trend of cooperation between China and Russia is good so far, and the volume of mutual investments is also on the rise, the Chinese Prime Minister told his Russian colleague. Chinese companies often took the place of Western companies that withdrew from the Russian market due to Russian aggression against Ukraine.
In his statement at the beginning of the meeting with Li, Mishustin did not mention the conflict in Ukraine and instead focused on the economic cooperation between Moscow and Beijing and the strengthening of their mutual relations, which, according to him, are already at an “unprecedented high level”.
“Our relations are based on mutual respect and the effort to respond to problems together, which is related to the increased unrest on the international scene and the pressure of the collective West,” he said.
Mishustin is the highest-ranking Russian official who, since last February , when Russia started a war in Ukraine, he went to Beijing. Chinese President Xi Jinping, on the other hand, was on a three-day visit to Moscow in March. He is due to meet with Mishustin today.
China has repeatedly called for peace in Ukraine, but has never condemned the Russian invasion, which provokes criticism from Western countries.
Leaders of advanced economies from the G7 group at a recent summit in Hiroshima, Japan, called on Beijing to “pressure Russia” in order to stop its aggression against Ukraine. But the group also drew critical attention to the state of human rights in the country or China's ambitions in the South China Sea. This provoked a negative reaction from China.