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China-Russia relations ‘strong as monolith’: Chinese FM

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has praised Sino-Russia relations, saying ties between the two countries are “strong as a monolith” and do not change under the influence of the unstable international circumstances.

Wang made the remarks via video at a conference on Chinese diplomacy in the capital Beijing on Sunday.

"Relations maintained between China and Russia are firm as a monolith. They are not susceptible to interference and provocations; major changes in the state of affairs do not hurt them," he said.

The top Chinese diplomat said both countries are proactively promoting bilateral cooperation, addressing mutual strategic interests and resting on mutual confidence. He said cooperation between the two sides is not antagonistic and is not aimed against any third party, adding that Beijing and Moscow “firmly speak out against hegemony and against a new Cold War."

Elsewhere in his remarks, Wang defended China’s “impartial” position on the ongoing war in Ukraine, signaling that Beijing would deepen ties with Moscow in the coming year. “With regard to the Ukraine crisis, we have consistently upheld the fundamental principles of objectivity and impartiality, without favoring one side or the other, or adding fuel to the fire, still less seeking selfish gains from the situation,” Wang said, according to an official text of his remarks.

China would “deepen strategic mutual trust and mutually beneficial cooperation” with Russia, he said, pointing that warships from the two countries held joint naval drills in the East China Sea last week. He also said trade turnover between China and Russia is moving to the level of $200 billion per year, adding that major investment projects are under way.

Wang further blamed the United States for the deterioration in relations between the world’s two largest economies, saying that Beijing has “firmly rejected” Washington’s “erroneous China policy.”

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Last week, Wang urged the US to abandon the “old routine of unilateral bullying” and stop suppressing China's development, during a phone call with his American counterpart Antony Blinken.

The latest remarks by the top Chinese diplomat underscored deep tensions that have marked relations between the world’s two largest economies despite direct and indirect channels of communication. 

China’s refusal to condemn the offensive against Ukraine and join others in imposing sanctions on Russia has also further frayed ties.

Russia launched the “special military operation” in Ukraine on February 24. Since the onset of the war, the United States and its European allies have unleashed a wide array of unprecedented sanctions against Russia and poured numerous batches of advanced weapons in Ukraine to assist its military fend off the Russian troops, despite repeated warnings by the Kremlin that such measures will only prolong the war.

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