According to media reports, China and Russia have recently strengthened their economic and diplomatic cooperation, particularly after Moscow invaded Ukraine, although Beijing has repeatedly stated that it is neutral in the conflict.
Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin’s recent visit to China was described as “the highest-level visit” by a Russian official since last year’s invasion of Ukraine.
During their discussions, President Xi reassured Mishustin that both countries would maintain “firm support on issues concerning each other’s core interests and strengthen collaboration in multilateral arenas,” as stated in an official Xinhua news agency readout.
The readout went on to say, “Xi stated that China and Russia should elevate their cooperation in various fields to a higher level and enhance economic, trade, and investment cooperation.”
Following a grand welcoming ceremony outside Beijing’s Great Hall of the People, Mishustin stated while meeting with Premier Li Qiang: “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 tackle challenges associated with increased turbulence in the international arena and the pressure of illegitimate sanctions from the collective West,” he added.
During the meeting between the two countries’ ministers, “a series of agreements on service trade cooperation and sports, as well as on patents and Russian millet exports to China” were signed, according to the report.
In addition, Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, who is in charge of energy policies, accompanied Mishustin.
Analysts believe that in the relationship between the two countries, “China holds the upper hand,” and its “sway” is growing as Russia remains internationally isolated. Xi had previously invited Putin to Beijing during their summit in Moscow in March.