Published: 15:06, April 12, 2024
Beijing set to ramp up links with Moscow
By Zhang Yunbi

Nations to maintain close contact to ensure smooth ties, help Global South

President Xi Jinping meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on April 9, 2024. (FENG YONGBIN / CHINA DAILY)

President Xi Jinping said on April 9 that Beijing is ready to ramp up bilateral communication with Moscow, boost multilateral strategic cooperation, and step up solidarity among countries of the Global South.

He made the remarks during a meeting with visiting Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

Lavrov arrived in Beijing on April 8 on a two-day official visit.

Xi said he and Russian President Vladimir Putin have agreed to continue maintaining close contact to ensure that “the relations between the two countries constantly move forward in a smooth and stable manner”.

He stressed that Beijing supports the Russian people in taking their own path of development that is in line with their national conditions, and it supports Moscow in combating terrorism and maintaining security and stability.

China always values its ties with Russia, and is willing to strengthen bilateral communication with Russia and enhance strategic collaboration under a multilateral framework, such as BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, he said.

The two countries should “work on unity among countries of the Global South in the spirit of equality, openness, transparency, and inclusiveness”, advance the reform of the global governance system, and take a strong lead in building a community with a shared future for mankind, he added.

Lavrov said the relationship between the two countries is based on equality and mutual benefit. It transcends alliances in the Cold War era and shows strong resilience, he added.

He said that Moscow is ready to work with Beijing to earnestly implement the consensus reached by the two heads of state, intensify bilateral and multilateral cooperation, work with other Global South countries to boost solidarity and cooperation, and contribute to shaping a fairer and more just international order.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries, and the two sides will celebrate the China-Russia Year of Culture.

President Xi told Lavrov that the two countries have joined hands on a new path featuring harmony and win-win cooperation between two major countries and between two neighboring nations.

Lavrov said that Moscow’s foreign policy prioritizes consolidating and enhancing relations with China in a comprehensive manner, and Putin’s reelection success ensures the continuity of Russia-China relations.

Earlier on April 9, Foreign Minister Wang Yi met with Lavrov. They signed a plan of consultations between the two foreign ministries for this year and met with journalists.

Russia holds the BRICS presidency this year, and China will take over the rotating chairmanship of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization this year. Wang said that Beijing and Moscow agree to support each other’s presidency and light up the moment of the Global South in global governance.

Speaking of multilateralism, Wang said that Beijing opposes any cliques that work on bloc confrontation, not to mention making that happen in the Asia-Pacific region.

“NATO should not have its hands in our common homeland, and there is no room or prospects for any words or actions that seek division and confrontation in the Asia-Pacific region,” he said.

Wang said that China supports convening at an appropriate time an international conference that is recognized by both Russia and Ukraine, and ensures the equal participation of various parties in a fair discussion on all options for peace.

Yang Cheng, a professor at Shanghai International Studies University and executive president of the Shanghai Academy of Global Governance and Area Studies, said, “The China-Russia relationship is multidimensional, multifaceted, and multilayered, and its scope goes far beyond a single specific topic.”

“Regular meetings of the two foreign ministers ensure a smooth flow of dialogues between Beijing and Moscow on global, regional, or bilateral issues of common concern, which help underpin the sustainable growth of the relations,” he added.