During a meeting on Wednesday with Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, Chinese President Xi Jinping expressed support for Moscow’s “core interests” on behalf of Beijing.
China and Russia have grown even closer since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine, despite Beijing’s assurance that it is neutral in that conflict. Economic and diplomatic cooperation between the two countries has increased in recent years, and this trend is expected to continue.
Since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine one year ago, Mishustin’s journey to China this week represents the highest-level visit by a Russian official to take place there.
Xi disclosed to Mishustin According to a readout provided by the official Xinhua news agency, China and Russia have agreed to continue providing “firm support on issues concerning each other’s core interests and strengthen collaboration in multilateral arenas.”
He said that China and Russia should “raise the level of economic, trade, and investment cooperation” and “push cooperation in various fields to a higher level.”
Following an elaborate welcoming ceremony in front of Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, Mishustin met with Premier Li Qiang on Wednesday. Following their conversation, Mishustin stated that “relations between Russia and China are at an unprecedented high level.”
“They are characterized by mutual respect of each other’s interests, the desire to jointly respond to challenges, which is associated with increased turbulence in the international arena, and the pressure of illegitimate sanctions from the collective West,” he added. “These challenges are associated with increased turbulence in the international arena and the pressure of illegitimate sanctions from the collective West.”
In his own turn, Li praised what he called the “comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between China and Russia in the new era.”
According to figures provided by Chinese customs, Russia’s most important commercial partner is China. The amount of money that was exchanged between the two countries in 2017 was a record $190 billion.
According to Li, the value of bilateral trade had already surpassed $70 billion by this point in the year.
“This is a year-on-year increase of more than 40 percent,” he said. “This is a significant increase.”
“The scale of investment between the two countries is also continuously upgrading,” added Li, who was quoted in the quote. “Strategic projects that are on a grand scale are making steady progress.”
After the talks, the ministers from both nations came together to sign a variety of agreements regarding patents, sports, trade in services, and exports of millet from Russia to China.
– The advantage that China holds – Mishustin is traveling this week with a number of high-ranking officials, including Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, who is in charge of energy policy.
China overtook the United States as Russia’s largest energy consumer in 2016, when Western sanctions imposed in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine caused a precipitous drop in gas exports from Russia.
According to reports from Moscow’s state media, Novak stated on Tuesday at a business summit held jointly by Russia and China in Shanghai that annual growth in the volume of Russian energy exports to China would reach 40 percent in 2023.
Analysts believe that China currently has the upper hand in its relationship with Russia, and that its sway is expanding as a result of Russia’s increasing isolation on the international stage.
According to Ryan Hass, a senior scholar at the Brookings Institution in Washington and a former official in the White House, the leaders of both countries are “brought together more by shared grievances and insecurities than by shared goals.” AFP reported that Hass made this statement.
“They resent Western leadership in the international system and feel threatened by it, and they believe that their countries should be given greater deference on issues that involve their own interests.”
In February, Beijing published a document advocating for a “political settlement” to the crisis in Ukraine. Western governments, however, stated that such a settlement could allow Russia to maintain control over a significant portion of the land it has seized.
During their meeting in March in Moscow, Xi extended an invitation to Putin to visit Beijing on behalf of the Chinese government.