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15 Dec, 2023 07:52

Russia-China relations are ‘pillar of global stability’ – Putin

Unlike Western countries, Moscow and Beijing have not aligned themselves against anyone, the Russian president has said
Russia-China relations are ‘pillar of global stability’ – Putin

Relations between Russia and China have reached an all-time high and are successfully developing in many areas, President Vladimir Putin has said, stressing that the partnership does not seek to undermine other countries.

Speaking during his annual marathon Q&A session on Thursday, Putin heaped praise on the state of ties between the two powers, describing them as “unprecedentedly high” and “one of the major pillars of global stability.”

He alleged that NATO countries were trying to expand their reach in Asia, a region which he said by all rights should not be the alliance’s focus. “It is called the North Atlantic bloc. What does that have to do with Asia? But no, they are dabbling there, staging provocative acts and escalating tensions.”

Putin stressed that Russia and China do not engage in such behavior. While the two cooperate in the economic, humanitarian and military spheres, their “friendship is not directed against third countries.” “It is for our benefit, but not against anyone,” he added.

At the same time, the president pointed to the booming trade ties between Moscow and Beijing, saying that he expects the turnover to soar by 30% in 2023, reaching $220-230 billion. Putin also noted that the two have diversified their partnership. “We are developing relations in infrastructure, we are building bridges and roads, and cooperate in the high-tech area,” he said.

Russia and China have maintained close ties for several decades, famously declaring in early February 2022 that “friendship between the two states has no limits, there are no ‘forbidden’ areas of cooperation.” Since then, Beijing has refrained from condemning Moscow for its military operation against Ukraine, or joining in the West’s sweeping sanctions.

In March, Chinese leader Xi Jinping paid a landmark visit to Moscow, which culminated in the signing of a package of documents on economic cooperation. In October, Putin traveled to the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing where he held one-on-one talks with his Chinese counterpart to discuss a number of “sensitive issues.”

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