China responds to attempts to divide Russia from Beijing
China’s close relations with Russia will not weaken, and the two countries will always remain friends, even if there are changes in the international geopolitical situation, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said on Monday.
Wang’s comments come less than a week after Russian President Vladimir Putin held a video conference with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping. In recent years, as both countries have become more adversarial with the US, the two presidents have become closer, with Xi even once referring to Putin as his “best friend.”
Speaking to a symposium on the development of Chinese diplomacy, Wang stressed that Beijing intended to maintain mutually beneficial relations with Moscow.
“No matter what changes occur in the world, the Sino-Russian friendship, which has been passed down from generation to generation, will always be strong,” he said, stating that the two countries would work together for peace and stability.
“Our countries have become a classic example of forming mutually trusting relations between great powers,” the Chinese foreign minister added, describing the nations as being “united like a rock.”
Beijing and Moscow have had a tumultuous relationship since the formation of the People’s Republic of China in 1949. The USSR and China were close allies until the Sino-Soviet split in 1961, but, thereafter, bilateral relations were poor until the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991. Since then, Russia and China have enjoyed a good relationship, which has improved even further in the past decade.
In their call last week, amid a wide range of other topics, Putin and Xi discussed defense and the economy. Their headline agreement, which was announced following the talks, was the decision to develop shared financial structures to enable them to deepen economic ties outside of the influence of other foreign states. The move appears to be a response to threats from Western nations that Russia could be banned from the SWIFT banking system – a platform that underpins the majority of the world’s international transactions.