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
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
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
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.
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.