China and Russia Continue to Coordinate on Ukraine, Deepen Ties | National Review

Russian President Vladimir Putin meets with Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, June 5, 2019. (Evgenia Novozhenina/Reuters)

China and Russia came away from a bilateral meeting yesterday indicating that they would continue to seek closer ties and coordinate on thwarting the Western sanctions regime imposed over the invasion of Ukraine.

Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov and Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi met on the sidelines of a meeting on Afghanistan hosted in China’s Anhui Province, where they issued statements hailing their countries’ deepening relationship.

“Both sides are more determined to develop bilateral relations and more confident in advancing cooperation in various fields,” read the Chinese foreign ministry’s summary of the meeting. “China is ready to work with Russia to act on the important consensus reached by the two heads of state, and promote China-Russia relations in the new era to higher levels.”

The Russian foreign ministry indicated in its own statement following the meeting that the two ministers had discussed Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine and “the illegal unilateral sanctions imposed on Russia by the United States and its satellites.”

As the Olympics began in Beijing last month, Chinese general secretary Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin held a meeting and issued a similarly warm, landmark statement together: “Friendship between the two states has no limits, there are no ‘forbidden’ areas of cooperation.”

In recent weeks, the Chinese ambassador to the U.S. has gone on a publicity swing to convince Americans that his country is not in fact backing the Russian invasion. “Assertions that China knew about, acquiesced to or tacitly supported this war are purely disinformation,” Ambassador Qin Gang wrote in a Washington Post op-ed earlier this month, responding to reports that Putin had alerted Xi about his plans during their meeting in Beijing.

This latest meeting makes clear that the degree of coordination between Moscow and Beijing on certain malign activities is more extensive than previously thought. And it undermines any Chinese claims to Western audiences that Beijing is not completely in Russia’s camp on the Kremlin’s latest atrocities.

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About the Author

Tony Beasley
Tony Beasley writes for the Local News, US and the World Section of ANH.