Russia and China vow to strengthen ties despite international ‘pressure’

Vladimir Putin and Wang Yi, China’s prime diplomat, vowed to strengthen ties between their two nations regardless of “strain from the worldwide group” forward of the primary anniversary of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Wang’s go to to Moscow, the primary by a senior Chinese language official since Putin ordered the invasion final yr, highlights the deepening relationship between the Russian president and his Chinese language counterpart Xi Jinping because the warfare drags into its second yr.

“We’re ready to take care of our strategic focus and willpower alongside Russia,” Wang mentioned as he met Putin on Wednesday. He added that the 2 sides would deepen “political mutual belief and strategic co-operation”.

Beijing has offered an financial lifeline to Moscow as western sanctions chunk, stepping up its buy of Russian vitality exports. It has additionally elevated its provide of technical elements that Russia can now not import from western nations due to sanctions.

“China-Russia relations have withstood strain from the worldwide group and are creating in a really steady method towards the backdrop of a really advanced, altering worldwide scenario,” Wang informed Putin.

His journey is a part of a diplomatic tour of Europe after the tip of three years of Chinese language isolation beneath Xi’s “zero Covid” coverage.

After assembly Wang on the weekend, US secretary of state Antony Blinken warned that China was contemplating supplying Russia with weapons to replenish its arsenal, depleted by a yr of attritional warfare and hamstrung by sanctions towards its defence business provide chains.

Beijing denied the accusations and accused the west of fuelling the battle by supplying Ukraine with superior weaponry.

Forward of his assembly with Putin, Wang additionally met Russia’s overseas minister Sergei Lavrov and safety council secretary Nikolai Patrushev in Moscow.

Patrushev informed Wang on Tuesday that Russia would help China on Taiwan — the island over which Beijing claims sovereignty — in addition to the Chinese language-controlled areas of Xinjiang, Tibet, and Hong Kong, which he mentioned had been being “utilized by the west to discredit China”.

In conferences with senior western officers on the Munich safety convention on the weekend, Wang outlined a peace plan that China would announce on Friday, the primary anniversary of the invasion.

Though China has not launched any particulars of the plan, western diplomats are deeply sceptical of China’s efforts after it didn’t condemn Putin’s invasion, hailed a “no limits” partnership with Moscow, and helped prop up the Russian financial system.

Xi met Putin final yr however has not spoken to Ukraine’s president Volodymyr Zelenskyy for the reason that invasion.

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