Russia and China have signed several economic deals amid Western criticism of relations between the two countries as the war in Ukraine continues.
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin visited China where he met with Chinese President Xi Jinping as well as Premier Li Qiang on Wednesday.
Xi told Mishustin that China and Russia will continue to offer each other “strong support on issues of mutual core interest and strengthen cooperation in multilateral arenas.”
He added that the two countries should “push cooperation in various fields to a higher level” and “raise the level of economic cooperation, trade and investment.”
During an earlier meeting with Li, Mishustin said that “relations between Russia and China are at an unprecedented high level.”
“They are characterized by mutual respect for each other’s interests, the desire to jointly respond to challenges, which are associated with increased turbulence in the international arena and the pattern of sensational pressure from the collective West,” he added.
What did the leaders sign?
The two leaders signed several memoranda of understanding including an agreement to enhance investment cooperation in trade services, an agreement on the export of agricultural products to China, and a sports cooperation deal.
Beijing is Moscow’s biggest trading partner. According to Chinese customs data, bilateral trade reached a record $190 billion (€176 billion) last year.
On Wednesday, Li pointed out that trade between the two countries has reached $70 billion this year.
“This is a year-on-year increase of more than 40%,” the premier said.
“The scale of investment between the two countries is also continuously upgrading,” he said. “Strategic major projects continue to evolve.”
China has rejected Western attempts to link its cooperation with Russia to the war in Ukraine and stressed that relations between Moscow and Beijing do not violate international norms.
“China is willing to work with Russia to implement joint cooperation between the two countries, and promoting pragmatic cooperation in various fields can bring it to a new level,” Li told the prime minister. in Russia.
zc, dvv/nm (AFP, Reuters)