In a phone call with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, China reaffirmed its alliance with Russia. “Any attempt to block the advance of China and Russia will not succeed,” the Chinese foreign minister told Lavrov.
It was China’s first telephone communication with another country following the conclusion of the 20th Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Congress, where Xi Jinping was elected to an unprecedented third term, something neither Deng Xiaoping nor Communist leader Mao Zedong could achieve.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi was promoted to the Politburo, China’s highest decision-making institution and the highest echelon of power within the party. The minister will also become the CCP’s top foreign policy authority, replacing 72-year-old Yang Jiechi.
During the telephone conversation with Lavrov, Wang said that Xi Jinping’s third term as the leader of the Communist Party would ensure the rejuvenation of the People’s Republic of China.
In addition, the Chinese minister said that the nation is ready to develop collaboration at all levels with Russia.
“China is willing to deepen exchanges with Russia at all levels, boost China-Russia relations and cooperation in various fields to a higher level … and provide more stability to the turbulent world,” Wang said.
“China will resolutely support Russia in the future so that, under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin, the Russian people will overcome difficulties, remove all obstacles and implement the goals of its development strategy, as well as continue to make progress in strengthening Russia’s status as a power country in the international arena,” the official statement said.
The Russian and Chinese ministers also exchanged on the situation in Ukraine. Wang expressed that China hopes the conflict with Ukraine will be resolved through diplomatic negotiations.
“China hopes that all sides will intensify their efforts to find a diplomatic solution to the conflict and achieve a speedy de-escalation and resolution of the current situation at the political level, including through negotiations,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said.
Lavrov briefed Wang on the progress of Russia’s “special military operation” in Ukraine and “thanked the Chinese side for supporting Russia’s position on the need for a just settlement of the situation around Ukraine and its efforts to prevent provocations involving components of weapons of mass destruction,” according to the statement released by Russia.
The Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman added that the two diplomats agreed on the need to de-escalate the conflict and avoid using weapons of mass destruction.
China and Russia also agreed to help each other in the UN Security Council. Since the beginning of the Russian-Ukrainian war conflict, the Russian Federation has clashed with several member countries of the Security Council. In the latest votes, China, one of Russia’s main allies, abstained from voting in its favor. Despite China’s diplomatic winks toward Ukraine, the Asian giant affirmed its support for Moscow.
Another important topic discussed by the ministers was the upcoming G20 summit, which will take place in Bali, Indonesia. Xi Jinping and Putin confirmed their attendance with the Indonesian president last August.
Russia-China relations are at ‘an unprecedented level’
Wang mentioned in his telephone conversation with his Russian counterpart that the Chinese nation would achieve national rejuvenation under Xi Jinping’s third term.
The term “rejuvenation” was repeated by Xi in his speech to the 20th Congress, and in that context, he mentioned the importance of “national reunification” with Taiwan to achieve that goal.
Putin mentioned Thursday that Russia-China relations are at “an unprecedented level” and called Xi “a close friend.” This rapprochement between the two powers also includes Taiwan. As reported by Russia’s state-run TASS news agency, Putin told the Valdai Club meeting that Russia considered recent visits to Taiwan by high-profile U.S. politicians, such as Nancy Pelosi’s visit last August, provocations.
“Why would that old lady ‘[Pelosi] go to Taiwan to provoke China to retaliate while they can’t resolve relations with Russia, because of what’s happening in Ukraine? That’s total nonsense,” the Russian president said.
Foreign Ministry spokesman Wang Wenbin appreciated the Russian president’s support regarding Taiwan and said, “We commend President Putin’s positive statements [on China].”
This statement by Putin shows Russia as an ally of the “one China” policy firmly held by the Chinese Communist Party over the island nation, whose independence is not recognized by several countries, including the United States.
Experts and analysts on the international scene pointed out that the Russian-Ukrainian war could indicate one of the possible scenarios for the Chinese communist party should it decide to invade Taiwan.
With a military lagging in training on several fronts at once, and with a noticeable lack of modernization, despite some advances in military technology, aircraft carrier design, and hypersonic weapons, the outcome the communist regime would face would not be positive.
Therefore, when Russia is weakened by the war and needs a powerful ally like China more than ever, Russian support will remain strong and more so now, with Xi Jinping continuing to lead the CCP. However, will Russia’s position in the face of a war between China and Taiwan mirror what China is doing now with Ukraine, demonstrating underhanded neutrality and being careful not to ruin diplomatic relations with the rest of the world?