News   /   China   /   Russia

China's defense minister, Russia's navy chief meet for 1st time since Wagner mutiny

The combo shows Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu (L) and the Russian Navy chief, Admiral Nikolai Yevmenov. (Reuters)

China's Defense Minister Li Shangfu and Russia's Navy chief, Admiral Nikolai Yevmenov, have met in what is the most high-level meeting between the representatives of the two countries since the Wagner mutiny last month.

The two sides met in the Chinese capital of Beijing on Monday, with Li telling Yevmenov that China hopes to "strengthen communication at all levels" with the Russian navy, according to a Chinese Defense Ministry readout.

China and Russia should "regularly organize joint exercises, joint cruises and joint military skills competition," as well as "expand practical cooperation in professional fields," Li said, less than four months after the two countries took part in joint naval exercises in the Gulf of Oman.

Elsewhere in his remarks, the Chinese minister said the two countries should "make positive contributions to maintaining regional and world peace and stability." 

Yevmenov, for his part, said Moscow and Beijing should "continue to expand exchanges at all levels of the two countries navies" and "continuously push the relationship between the two militaries to new heights." 

China operates the world's largest navy by number of hulls and hugely surpasses Russia's navy in both size and technical ability. 

The short-lived mutiny began on June 23 over differences between Wagner’s boss Yevgeny Prigozhin and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu. The episode promptly ended with a deal between the two sides brokered by Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko.

Prigozhin agreed to turn his forces back from their march on the Russian capital in exchange for immunity from prosecution. Moscow dropped charges against him and said he was free to go to Belarus.

The Chinese government previously said it supported Russia in "protecting national stability" regarding the Wagner mutiny against Russian armed forces. 

China has so far adopted a neutral stance regarding Russia's war in Ukraine, drawing condemnation from the West for not denouncing Moscow and for maintaining its ties with the Kremlin.

Beijing has stood solidly beside Moscow, accusing the United States and NATO of provoking Russia and of fueling the bloodshed by helping arm Ukraine.

Press TV’s website can also be accessed at the following alternate addresses:

Press TV News Roku