Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang (right) meets with his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov on the sidelines of the Group of 20 Foreign Ministers' Meeting in New Delhi, India, March 2, 2023. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
Foreign Minister Qin Gang asserted on Tuesday the firmness of the Sino-Russian relationship, saying that the cooperation between the two countries provides a driving force for multipolarity.
China-Russia ties are not a threat to any country, nor are they subject to any interference or discord sown by any third party, Qin said at a news conference on the sidelines of the first session of the 14th National People's Congress.
Answering a question on whether China and Russia will drop the use of the US dollar and euro in their bilateral trade, Chinese Foreign Minister Qin Gang said that "whichever currencies are efficient, safe and credible should be used"
The bilateral relationship is based on non-alliance and non-confrontation, and is not targeted at any third party, he said, adding that those "inclined to view the ties through the lens of Cold War alliances see nothing but their own image".
Qin's remarks came days after his meetings with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and foreign ministers of other nations. They met separately on the sidelines of the G20 Foreign Ministers' Meeting in New Delhi, India, earlier this month.
During the meeting with Lavrov, both sides expressed hope to step up communications and also exchanged views on the Ukraine crisis.
"The more unstable the world becomes, the more imperative it is for the two countries to steadily advance their relationship," Qin said on Tuesday, noting that their cooperation helps ensure global strategic balance and stability. China-Russia ties will "grow from strength to strength" under the strategic guidance of the two countries' presidents, he said.
Answering a question on whether China and Russia will drop the use of the US dollar and euro in their bilateral trade, the foreign minister said that "whichever currencies are efficient, safe and credible should be used".
"Currencies should not be trump cards for unilateral sanctions, still less a disguise for bullying or coercion," he added.
Speaking on China's relations with Europe, Qin said the nation sees the European Union as a comprehensive strategic partner and supports European integration, no matter how the situation may evolve.
The interactions between China and Europe are an independent choice, made entirely based on their strategic interests, and China-Europe ties are not targeted at, subjugated to or controlled by any third party, he said.
According to Qin, China hopes to work with Europe to uphold true multilateralism and overcome disturbances and challenges to keep deepening their comprehensive strategic partnership, which has entered its 20th anniversary.
The country also hopes that Europe, "with the painful Ukraine crisis in mind", will truly realize strategic autonomy and lasting peace and stability, he said.
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Wang Yiwei, director of the Center for EU Studies at Renmin University of China, said the EU needs to increase its strategic autonomy and avoid letting issues such as the Ukraine crisis overshadow its ties with China, which is committed to promoting peace talks.
Also, cooperation with China in trade, investment and research and development is needed for the EU's drive for "green and digital transitions", Wang said, calling for the grouping to view China and the bilateral ties in a rational manner.
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