China's Xi Meets With Russian Foreign Minister In Show Of Solidarity Against West

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by Tyler Durden
Wednesday, Apr 10, 2024 - 03:45 PM

Authored by Dorothy Li via The Epoch Times,

Chinese communist regime leader Xi Jinping met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov in Beijing on Tuesday, reaffirming solidarity amid growing pressure from the West. Mr. Lavrov arrived in China on April 8 for a two-day visit. His trip, according to the Kremlin, could be seen as laying the groundwork for upcoming contacts between Xi and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Ahead of the meeting with Xi, Mr. Lavrov held talks with the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP’s) top diplomat, Wang Yi. The two countries agreed to discuss ways to deepen security cooperation across Europe and Asia to counter the pressure imposed by the United States and its allies in the region, Mr. Lavrov told reporters after the meeting.

An outdoor screen shows a news coverage of Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov meeting Chinese leader Xi Jinping in Beijing on April 9, 2024. AFP via Getty Images

“We have a common focus on strengthening security in Eurasia,” Mr. Lavrov said at a press conference in Beijing. China and Russia had agreed to “start a dialogue with the involvement of our other like-minded people on this issue.”

The Russian top diplomat’s visit to China came amid renewed concerns in the United States that Chinese companies were bolstering Russia’s defense capacity.

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, who was in China for economic talks this week, issued a blunt warning about Beijing’s support for Moscow. She emphasized that any companies, including those in China, would face “significant consequences” if they provided aid to support Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

“We’ve been clear with China that we see Russia as gaining support from goods that China, Chinese firms are supplying to Russia,” she told reporters in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou on April 6. She said that her Chinese counterpart, Vice Premier He Lifeng, had told her, “It is their policy not to provide Russia with military support.”

She added, “Neither of us want[s] this to be an issue with our bilateral relationship, so we’re working together.”

Her message followed a similar warning from U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken. After meeting with NATO foreign ministers at the alliance headquarters in Brussels on April 4, Mr. Blinken told reporters, “China continues to provide materials to support Russia’s defense industrial base.”

During a recent phone call with Xi, U.S. President Joe Biden pressed Beijing over its role in supporting Russia, according to a readout released by the White House.

President Biden will host the leaders of Japan and the Philippines this week to boost economic and defense ties as the allies seek to offset the Chinese regime’s growing aggression and manage risks ranging from North Korea to the wars in Gaza and Ukraine.

Mr. Putin ordered an invasion of Ukraine on Feb. 24, 2022, less than three weeks after he and Xi had declared a partnership with “no limits“ on the opening day of the Winter Olympics in Beijing. Since then, Xi has refrained from condemning the attack and refused to characterize Moscow’s actions as an invasion.

Instead, the CCP blamed the United States for instigating the conflict, and it expanded its trade with Russia, providing Moscow with a vital lifeline after being hit by Western sanctions.

Data from China’s commerce ministry show that trade between the two neighbors hit a record high of $240 billion last year, up 26 percent compared with 2022.

In comparison, trade between Beijing and Washington reported the first fall since 2019. China–U.S. trade fell by 11.6 percent and stood at $664 billion in 2022, according to China’s customs data.

The last time that Xi hosted Mr. Lavrov was in April 2018. Weeks following the meetings, Mr. Putin traveled to China for a state visit.

On April 9, Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Mr. Lavrov’s visit to Beijing could be seen as preparation for “upcoming contacts at the highest level.” However, he added, it would be “premature to specify any time frames.”

Reuters, citing unnamed sources, reported last month that the Kremlin chief would visit China in May. If confirmed, this will be Mr. Putin’s first international trip since he secured his fifth term in office in March.