Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu paid a two-day visit to Russia from Thursday to Friday, and met with Russian Foreign Minister and other officials, with both sides agreeing to advancing bilateral ties to a higher level and make new progress in the new year.
During the visit for negotiations between diplomatic departments of the two countries, Ma met Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and other officials. They exchanged views on China-Russia relations, bilateral or multiple coordination between the two countries and global and regional issues of common concern.
The visit is believed to be one of regular meetings of diplomatic departments between the two countries. The interactions between China and Russia have frequently seen, from heads of state to diplomatic departments as the two sides strive to push forward bilateral relations, Zhang Hong, an associate research fellow at the Institute of Russian, Eastern European and Central Asian Studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times on Saturday.
To mark the New Year, Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, exchanged messages of New Year greetings on December 31.
On December 30, Xi met with Putin via video link, during which Xi stressed that China and Russia should strengthen strategic coordination to bring more benefits to the two peoples and inject more stability into the world.
In January, Lavrov congratulated Qin Gang on taking office as the Chinese foreign minister and expressed that he looked forward to building a good working relationship with Qin so as to lead the two countries’ foreign ministries to continue their close cooperation.
During Ma’s visit, he emphasized that under the strategic guidance of the two countries’ heads of state, the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era has maintained high-level development, with deepening political trust, steadily advancing cooperation in various fields and closer international coordination.
China is willing to work with Russia to implement the consensus reached by the top leaders of the two countries and to make new progress in bilateral ties in the new year, Ma noted.
The ongoing Russia-Ukraine conflict was likely to be one of the topics to be addressed during the visit. The conflict has given rise to a number of challenges that require addressing, especially as the US continues to provoke tensions by offering Ukraine a stream of military assistance, Zhang noted.
The US has agreed to send longer-ranger bombs to Ukraine when the country makes efforts to launch a spring offensive against Russia, according to an AP report.
“The fact that the US is constantly assisting Ukraine with gradually stronger weapons, rather than pushing for peace talks only exposed the US intention of taking the conflict as a method to contain and consume Russia. Continually pouring advanced weapons into the war may further complicate the conflict, resulting in escalation of the conflict and great risk of catastrophic spillover of the Russia-Ukraine crisis,” Zhang noted.
Qin earlier emphasized that China will continue to address the conflict based on fundamental guidance put forward by the country’s leader which includes four points about what must be done and four things the international community must do together.