Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is visiting Russia from Monday till September 21 for the 18th round of Russia-China security consultations, the Foreign Ministry in Beijing announced today. During his visit, Wang will meet his Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov and is expected to discuss the ongoing Ukraine conflict.
Wang’s visit follows on the heels of a closely-watched visit by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to Russia, which sparked concerns of a potential arms deal between Pyonyang and Russian President Vladimir Putin in exchange of economic aid and advanced weapons technologies. The US warned that North Korean weapons might be used by Russia for its war in Ukraine.
Additionally, military cooperation between Russia, China and North Korea are expected to increase since Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chinese Communist Party Politburo member Li Hongzhong to a huge military parade in Pyongyang attended a huge military parade in Pyongyang in July.
According to the Russian Foreign Ministry, Wang will discuss a “wide range of bilateral cooperation issues” with Lavrov during his current visit, including a detailed exchange of views on issues related to a resolution of the Ukraine conflict.
Wang’s meetings with US
The Chinese foreign minister also held meetings with US President Joe Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan over the past two days on the island nation of Malta. The two officials had “candid, substantive and constructive discussions” to maintain the relationship on security, trade, technology and human rights and also keep open lines of communication, as per the White House.
Notably, the US and China haven’t seen eye-to-eye on the Russian invasion of Ukraine last year. While America has openly condemned Russia for initiating the conflict, China has refrained from taking sides and said that the West needs to consider Russia’s security concerns about expansion of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation (NATO).
Furthermore, as Russia and China’s relations with the US and Western countries have deteriorated, it has actually brought the former two nations closer. China seeks the support to reshape the US-led international order to propel its own interests.
(with agency inputs)