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China’s Xi Offers ‘Firm Support’ for Russia’s ‘Core Interests’ | The Guardian Nigeria News

China’s Xi Offers ‘Firm Support’ for Russia’s ‘Core Interests’ |  The Guardian Nigeria News


Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday offered Beijing’s support on Moscow’s “core interests” during a meeting with Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin.

China and Russia have intensified their economic and diplomatic cooperation in recent years, growing ever closer since Moscow invaded Ukraine despite Beijing’s insistence on its neutrality in the conflict.

Mishustin’s trip this week is the highest-level visit by a Russian official to China since the invasion of Ukraine last year.

Xi told Mishustin that China and Russia would continue to offer each other “firm support on issues concerning each other’s core interests and strengthen collaboration in multilateral arenas,” according to a reading from the agency. Xinhua official press.

China and Russia should “push cooperation in various fields to a higher level”, he said, and “raise the level of economic, trade and investment cooperation”.

Mishustin also met with Premier Li Qiang on Wednesday, saying “Russia-China relations are at an unprecedented level” following a grand welcoming ceremony outside the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

“They are characterized by mutual respect for each other’s interests, the desire to jointly respond to challenges, which is associated with increased turbulence on the international scene and the pressure of illegitimate sanctions from the collective West,” he said. he declared.

Li, in turn, praised the “comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between China and Russia in the new era.”

China is Russia’s biggest trading partner, with trade between them reaching a record $190 billion last year, according to data from China Customs.

Li said bilateral trade has already reached $70 billion so far this year.

“This is an annual increase of more than 40%,” he said.

“The scale of investment between the two countries is also continuously improving,” Li said. “Large-scale strategic projects are progressing steadily.”

The ministers of the two countries signed a series of agreements after the talks on cooperation in trade in services and sports, as well as patents and exports of Russian millet to China.

– China’s advantage –
Mishustin is joined this week by senior officials, including Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, who deals with energy policy.

Last year, China became Russia’s biggest energy customer as Moscow’s gas exports fell due to a wave of Western sanctions following the invasion of Ukraine.

And Novak told a Russian-Chinese business forum in Shanghai on Tuesday that Russian energy supplies to China would increase by 40% year-on-year in 2023, state media in Moscow reported.

Analysts say China holds the upper hand in relations with Russia and its influence is growing as Moscow’s international isolation deepens.

The leaders of the two countries are “brought closer together by shared grievances and insecurities than by common goals,” Ryan Hass, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution in Washington and a former White House official, told AFP.

“They are both unhappy with and feel threatened by Western leadership in the international system and believe their countries should be given greater deference on matters involving their own interests.”

In February, Beijing released a document calling for a “political settlement” of the Ukraine conflict, but Western countries said this could allow Russia to hold much of the territory it has seized.

Xi invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit Beijing during their summit in Moscow in March.




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