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China dismisses criticism over Russia ties, says it has right to 'normal cooperation'

by Kateryna Hodunova and The Kyiv Independent news desk April 11, 2024 9:30 AM 2 min read
Russian leader Vladimir Putin and China's leader Xi Jinping at the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing on Oct. 18, 2023. Photo for illustrative purposes. (Grigory Sysoyev/Pool/AFP)
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Beijing reacted to the criticism of its partnership with Moscow, claiming that both countries have a right to carry out "normal cooperation," Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said at a press conference on April 10.

Washington previously expressed concern to its allies about China's support for Russia amid Moscow's full-scale war against Ukraine.

China has increased assistance to Russia's defense industrial base, providing machine tools, optics, nitrocellulose, microelectronics, and turbojet engines that could fuel the all-out war in Ukraine, according to Bloomberg.

"Such cooperation should not come under external interference or constraint. China will not accept the accusations and pressuring," Mao said.

The spokesperson added that if the U.S. "truly cares" about ending the war soon and bringing peace, it should "reflect on the root cause" and do something that will help rather than "deflect the blame to China."

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Mao also stressed that China has consistently promoted the idea of peace talks and "taken an objective" stance regarding the Russian full-scale war in Ukraine.

While attempting to present itself as largely neutral amid Russia's full-scale invasion of Ukraine, which has now entered into its third year, Beijing has forged a robust alliance with Moscow.

Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin, the leaders of the two countries, have dubbed this relationship a "no limits" friendship prior to the 2022 Winter Olympic Games held in Beijing. Trade between China and Russia soared to over $200 billion in 2023, underlining the depth of their partnership.

Earlier in April, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrived in China to meet his counterpart Wang Yi and discuss Moscow's ongoing war against Ukraine and other topics of common interest.

Wang subsequently said that Moscow and Beijing should work to counter "hegemonism" and "any 'small circle' that engages in bloc confrontation," referring to the situation in the Euro-Atlantic region.

Reuters: Putin to visit China in May
This might be Putin’s first trip abroad after he secured his fifth term in office in the recent presidential election, broadly regarded as rigged and unfair.
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