Moscow and Beijing have deepened diplomatic and security ties since signing a “no limits” partnership earlier this year
Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to speak with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping, with the two leaders expected to discuss “rapidly growing” trade relations, regional problems facing both nations and a major strategic alliance struck in February.
Speaking to reporters on Thursday, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Putin and Xi would speak over video link the following morning, noting the talks would broadly cover “bilateral Russian-Chinese relations.”
“Of course, it will be very important to exchange views on the most pressing regional problems, which are both those that are closer to us, to Russia, and those that are closer to China. Our leaders will discuss these problems in the spirit of true strategic partnership,” he said, also observing that trade turnover between the two countries is “rapidly growing.”
An initial exchange on Friday morning will be open to the public, Peskov added, but the conversation will continue in private following the welcoming remarks.
Putin and Xi’s last face-to-face meeting was held in Samarkand, Uzbekistan last September, where they discussed the ongoing conflict in Ukraine at length. Commenting on those talks, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Russia and China’s views on a range of important issues “coincide completely,” and that there were “no discrepancies at all” between the two sides.
Relations between Moscow and Beijing have strengthened significantly in recent months, after the two countries agreed to a “no limits” strategic partnership earlier this year, which they said would include work on space exploration, climate change, artificial intelligence and security matters. Since then, they have embarked on several rounds of joint military drills – including naval exercises in the East China Sea which concluded earlier this week – while China has boosted its energy imports from Russia and helped to offset a sweeping Western sanctions campaign targeting Moscow.
As part of the strategic pact, Russia also voiced support for China’s territorial claims to Taiwan, accusing the West of stoking conflict over the disputed island, and joined the People’s Republic in condemning the AUKUS military alliance between the United States, Britain and Australia. Both countries have continued to reject any further expansion of NATO, previously urging the US and other member states to offer security guarantees to Russia, namely related to Ukraine.
December 30, 2022 at 09:06AM