Lavrov's visit shows close China-Russia coordination in face of US-alliance encircling
Published: Mar 18, 2021 03:34 PM
China Russia. Photo: VCG

China Russia. Photo: VCG

Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's scheduled visit to China on March 22 and 23, two days after the first China-US high-level meeting since Biden took office, is of great significance as the close China-Russia coordination will offset the impact of the US' troublemaking after its just concluded 2+2 dialogues with its allies Japan and South Korea, analysts said.

The timing of Lavrov's visit is noteworthy as it means Russia is the first country China shares information and opinions with on key issues after the China-US face-to-face communication, which shows China and Russia have deep strategic mutual trust and support each other on core interests.

Since the US consulted with its allies Japan and South Korea before meeting with China, China could also share the information with its strategic partner who is also facing extreme pressure and hostility from the US, analysts said, noting that when the US believes it could use its allies to contain or confront China and Russia, these two major powers will stand closer to overcome the pressure caused by Washington.

Zhao Lijian, spokesperson of the Chinese Foreign Ministry, announced Lavrov's visit at a routine press briefing Thursday, noting that China and Russia are comprehensive strategic partners of coordination, and maintaining close exchanges between the foreign ministers of the two countries is an inherent part of pushing forward bilateral relations.

Zhao disclosed that during Lavrov's visit, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi will hold talks with him to discuss bilateral relations and recent high-level exchanges and exchange views on international and regional issues of common interest. 

During his Tokyo visit on Tuesday, US State Secretary Antony Blinken warned China against using "coercion and aggression," which observers viewed as an attempt to consolidate its Asian alliances to cope with China's "growing assertiveness" and add leverages or advantages for the US before the Alaska talk with China. 

Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations of China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Thursday that China and Russia enjoy a high degree of strategic mutual trust, coordination and interaction, which can defuse the instability in the region caused by the US and its allies. 

The China-Russia partnership also serves the interests of most countries in the Asia-Pacific region as it can balance and effectively deter the US hegemony from interfering in regional affairs, Li said. 

Wu Xinbo, director of Fudan University's Center for American Studies, told the Global Times on Friday that with the epidemic gradually under control, Lavrov's visit marks the resumption of regular high-level exchanges and strategic dialogue between China and Russia.

2021 marks 20 years since the signing of the Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation between China and Russia. Lavrov's visit is the first tour to China by the Russian Foreign Minister since the COVID-19 outbreak. 

As for the hype of "China-Russia joining hands," experts reached by Global Times say it is the US that forces China and Russia to move closer. 

Wang and Lavrov had eight phone calls and two meetings in 2020. Since 2021, the two diplomats have held one phone call, and Russia was the most visited country by China's high-level delegation in 2020.

"China and Russia are comprehensive strategic partners of coordination … and both sides have faced pressure and bullying from the US. So it is normal for the two sides to strengthen coordination, which serves the interests of both countries," Wu said.