Russia became China's leading crude oil supplier in January and February, according to Chinese government data cited by Reuters on March 20.
Russia was China's second-largest supplier in 2022, trailing only Saudi Arabia.
During the first two months of 2023, Russia supplied China with 1.94 million barrels per day, a significant increase from the 1.57 million barrels per day recorded during the same period in 2022, Reuters said.
Oil is one of Russia's main exports. The economic relationship between Russia and China has been a source of concern, particularly after most Western countries imposed sanctions on Russia in response to its full-scale invasion of Ukraine.
During a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on March 20, Chinese President Xi Jinping declared that their countries have "similar goals."
Putin said during their meeting that the trade turnover between Russia and China "has more than doubled" over the past 10 years, rising from $87 billion to $185 billion.
China also has yet to condemn Russia's aggression against Ukraine, including the illegal annexation of Ukrainian territories.
In response to Russian aggression in Ukraine, numerous countries put an end to Russian oil imports. The U.S. announced its ban in March 2022, having previously imported 700,000 barrels per day of crude oil and refined petroleum products from Russia in 2021.
Canada, which has not imported Russian crude oil since 2019, announced shortly after the start of the invasion that it would continue this policy.