President Xi Jinping Reassures Putin, China Will Continue to Support Russia

President Xi Jinping Reassures Putin, China Will Continue to Support Russia
President Xi Jinping Reassures Putin, China Will Continue to Support Russia

International Military - Chinese President Xi Jinping told his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin by telephone on Wednesday (15/6/2022) that Beijing would continue to support Moscow on its "sovereignty and security". "China is willing to continue to offer mutual support (to Russia) on issues of core interest and major concerns such as sovereignty and security," China's state broadcaster CCTV reported Xi's statement.

It was the second reported phone call between the two leaders since Putin launched the invasion of Ukraine on February 24. China has refused to condemn Moscow's invasion of Ukraine and has been accused of providing diplomatic cover for Russia by condemning Western sanctions and arms sales to Kiev.

Read Also: Strengthening Relations between the Two Countries, Russia and China Open Bridges Cross-Border

According to CCTV, Xi praised the "good development momentum" in bilateral relations since the start of the year "in the face of global turmoil and change". Beijing is willing to "intensify strategic coordination between the two countries," Xi said.

China is ready to strengthen communication and coordination with Russia in international organizations and push the international order and global governance towards a more just and reasonable development, he added.

The telephone conversation between the two leaders fell on Xi's 69th birthday and was their first reported communication since a day after Russia launched its invasion of its European neighbour.

Read Also: China Is Confused By Russia, Does Not Take Part In The War Against Ukraine But Is Affected

Xi, who describes Putin as an "old friend", also invited his Russian counterpart to the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics in early February. The European Union and the United States have warned that any support from Beijing for Russia's war in Ukraine, or help for Moscow to evade Western sanctions, would damage relations with China.

China and India are the two main economies that have yet to take part in retaliatory measures against Moscow for its invasion. In the eyes of Chinese officials, Europeans have allowed themselves to be sucked into supporting Ukraine, at Washington's initiative, in a move that runs counter to their interests as consumers of Russian gas.

Once Cold War foes, Beijing and Moscow have stepped up cooperation in recent years to counterbalance what they see as US global dominance.

Read Also: Chinese Foreign Minister: Russia Is "Most Important Strategic Partner"

The two countries are growing closer on the political, trade and military fronts as part of what they call a "borderless" relationship. The two sides last week launched the first road bridge connecting the two countries, linking the city of Blagoveshchensk in Russia's far east with the northern Chinese city of Heihe.

Beijing is Moscow's biggest trading partner, with trade volume last year totaling $147 billion, according to Chinese customs data, up more than 30 percent in 2019.

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