China-Russia relations
Get more with myNEWS
A personalised news feed of stories that matter to you
Learn more
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi speaks at a reception celebrating 20 years since the signing of the China-Russia friendship treaty. Photo: Xinhua

Russia relationship better than an alliance, Chinese foreign minister says

  • Wang Yi advocates pushing the partnership to new heights as he marks 20th anniversary of friendship treaty with Moscow
  • He reiterates Beijing’s opposition to hegemony and a new cold war
China’s foreign minister has described the relationship with Russia as being better than an alliance after the neighbours renewed a 20-year-old friendship treaty.

Speaking at a reception in Beijing on Sunday marking the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Good Neighbourliness and Friendly Cooperation, Wang Yi said China and Russia had “built strong strategic support for mutual security and development” and would “always be each other’s strong backers”.

He said the two countries should “further deepen political mutual trust” and “push the comprehensive strategic partnership in a new era, which is not allies but better than allies, to new heights”, according to a transcript published by the Chinese foreign ministry.

“We must further strengthen strategic collaboration and firmly build a strong pillar for maintaining world peace and security,” Wang said. “We will hold high the banner of multilateralism, oppose hegemony and power politics, counter the new cold war and group conflicts.”


China, Russia foreign ministers meet as countries stand ‘back to back’ amid rise in US tensions

China, Russia foreign ministers meet as countries stand ‘back to back’ amid rise in US tensions
Wang said cooperation would also be strengthened on counterterrorism and climate change.

Locked in rivalries with the US and its allies, China and Russia are presenting an increasingly united front in response.

They elevated their already close relationship to the status of a “comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership in a new era” – the highest level in Beijing’s diplomatic terminology – in 2019 when Chinese President Xi Jinping visited Moscow.

Although the two governments have said that they would not establish a military alliance, leaders and diplomats from both have often boasted of relations that they describe as being without limits and at their best level in history.

Andrey Denisov, the Russian ambassador in China, said on Sunday that Russia would work with China “at its best”.


Beijing hits back at Western sanctions against China’s alleged treatment of Uygur Muslims

Beijing hits back at Western sanctions against China’s alleged treatment of Uygur Muslims

Faced with growing opposition from Washington, Beijing and Moscow have significantly stepped up their cooperation on multiple fronts over the past few years. That has included traditional areas of shared interests such as trade, energy and military technologies, as well as emerging areas such as cyber issues and the Arctic.

Last week, the Russian Ministry of Finance announced that it had fully removed US dollar assets from the country’s sovereign wealth fund, while raising the holdings of the Chinese yuan and euros as part of efforts to reduce its vulnerability to sanctions imposed by the US. The sanctions, which bar American financial institutions from buying Russian government bonds, make it more difficult for Russia to raise capital on the international market.

However, observers have noted potential tensions between Russia and China. Last year, bilateral trade reached US$108 billion, far short of the 2024 target of US$200 billion.

China’s expanding economic presence in Central Asia through its infrastructure and investment programme the Belt and Road Initiative has drawn suspicions from Moscow, which sees the region as a backyard of its influence.
This article appeared in the South China Morning Post print edition as: Ties with Moscow are better than an alliance, Wang says