BEIJING (AP) — Chinese language Protection Minister Gen. Li Shangfu will go to Russia subsequent week for conferences with counterpart Sergei Shoigu and different navy officers, China’s Protection Ministry mentioned Friday.
Li’s go to underscores China’s strengthening engagement with Russia, with which it has largely aligned its international coverage in an try and reshape the world order to decrease the affect of the USA and different Western democracies.
China has refused to criticize Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and blamed the U.S. and NATO for scary Moscow. Throughout a 2022 go to to Beijing, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese language chief Xi Jinping issued a joint assertion declaring a “no limits” relationship between the 2 international locations.
Li will even go to Russia’s navy academy throughout his April 16-19 journey, Protection Ministry spokesperson Col. Tan Kefei mentioned.
The journey follows an official go to to Moscow final month by Xi that emphasised how China is more and more changing into the senior associate within the relationship because it supplies Russia with political cowl and an financial lifeline throughout its battle on Ukraine.
Formally, nonetheless, China stays impartial within the battle and has but to supply a full-throated endorsement of Russia’s actions.
Whereas Moscow and Beijing have mentioned they might improve contacts between their militaries and stage extra joint sea and air patrols and drills, the Chinese language international minister mentioned Friday that China wouldn’t be serving to Russia with weapons, because the U.S. and different Western allies have feared.
“Sino-Russian navy relations have continued to function at a excessive degree, and new progress has been made,” Tan was quoted as saying in a ministry information launch saying Li’s go to.
The “China-Russia complete strategic partnership of coordination within the new period” has been enriched by “strategic communication, joint workouts and sensible cooperation” on the navy degree, Tan mentioned.
Navy energy in China is concentrated within the ruling Communist Get together’s Navy Affairs Fee led by Xi and two vice chairs.
An aerospace engineer by coaching, Li is underneath U.S. sanctions over Chinese language purchases of Russian fighter jets and air protection missiles. He was appointed minister in March on the annual assembly of China’s ceremonial legislature.