Frequency of China-Russia exchanges proportional to level of regional tensions
Published: Aug 15, 2023 09:51 PM
Illustration: Chen Xia/GT

Illustration: Chen Xia/GT

Chinese State Councilor and Minister of National Defense Li Shangfu's two trips to Russia within a span of four months confirm the desire of security and stability in Eurasia.

Li kicks off his visit to Russia on Monday, during which he attends the 11th Moscow Conference on International Security. This is Li's second trip to Russia this year, following his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin on April 16 in Moscow. 

Wang Xianju, deputy director of the Center for Russian Studies at Renmin University of China-St. Petersburg State University, told the Global Times that the main purpose of the meeting this time is to promote peace and boost cooperation. "When discussing the issue of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, China may continue to propose to resolve the conflict through peaceful negotiations," he said.

Unsurprisingly, the visit was again maliciously interpreted by the Western media. Their political malice revealed during Li's first Russia trip has continued and even intensified. For example, the Associated Press reported that Li's trip is "a show of support for those nations which the West has sought to isolate" over Russia's military operations against Ukraine, and Li's attendance at the 11th Moscow Conference on International Security "further underscores the drive by China and Russia to align their foreign policies in a bid to undermine the Western-led liberal-democratic world order, despite their economic and reputational costs." 

It should be clarified, however, that Li's presence is not because of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, nor is it an act by China to "undermine the Western-led liberal-democratic world order." In fact, it has been the norm for the Chinese defense minister to participate in the Moscow Conference on International Security over the years as part of bilateral military cooperation between Russia and China, which is sort of a routine for the two countries.

The visit of Li is a continuation and deepening of the general Russia-China cooperation. The comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era between China and Russia has been stable, and the bilateral military cooperation has been held normally so far this year. Hence, there is no need to exaggerate or over-interpret the visit this time. The Western media's hype is nothing more than a conspiracy on their part and a false attack on China.

Noticeably, the frequency of China-Russia exchanges is proportional to the level of tensions in the region as well as to the urgency of enhancing strategic mutual trust and cooperation. The more volatile the region becomes, the more steadily China-Russia relations should move forward. As the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, as well as key players of G20, APEC and other regional and global organizations, China and Russia have played a crucial role in continuously promoting multilateral cooperation, jointly speaking out on major international and regional issues, vigorously enhancing the representation of the emerging countries and developing countries in global affairs. Based on this, the two countries have become a constructive and indispensable force for improving the international order, promoting global and regional development and safeguarding the security and stability of member states. 

Against the backdrop of the Russia-Ukraine conflict, it is understandable that the West is highly concerned about interactions between China and Russia. Nevertheless, putting labels maliciously with tinted glasses at every sight of China-Russia exchanges is indeed an attempt at disrupting the relations between the two countries. The deepening of China-Russia relations is in the interest of the Eurasian continent to pursue tranquility and stability, which is also precisely where Li's Russia trip lies.