China’s high diplomat heads to Russia as ties attain ‘greatest stage in historical past’

China’s main diplomat will journey to Russia on Monday for safety talks, the newest signal of deepening ties between Beijing and Moscow amid heightened uncertainty from the coronavirus pandemic.

Yang Jiechi, who leads China’s central committee for international affairs, will probably be in Russia until Wednesday for a strategic and safety session, the Ministry of International Affairs mentioned on Sunday. Yang will even go to Croatia and Slovenia earlier than returning to China.

The announcement was made as each nations place larger emphasis on bilateral relations in a interval the place US dominance of geopolitics has receded and the coronavirus has stoked upheaval around the globe.

It was additionally made simply days after Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin, the presidents of China and Russia, attended the video-link launch of a nuclear power challenge. The deal, which was signed in 2018, entails Russia serving to China construct 4 nuclear reactors.

Putin mentioned on the launch on Wednesday that ties between the neighbours, had reached “the very best stage in historical past”, reiterating feedback from Sergei Lavrov, Russia’s international minister, in March.

China and Russia have “firmly supported one another” within the face of the pandemic, Xi mentioned, and spoke of a “complete strategic partnership of co-ordination for a brand new period”.

The feedback add to current emphasis on nearer ties within the build-up to the twentieth anniversary of the signing of a treaty between the 2 nations aimed toward bolstering co-operation 

Final 12 months, in a telephone name with Putin, Xi highlighted the necessity for nearer relations with Russia given the “turbulence” attributable to the coronavirus pandemic and mentioned the 2001 treaty had established the idea of constructing a brand new kind of worldwide relations, in response to state media. 

The coronavirus has created international coverage alternatives elsewhere for each nations, which have offered vaccines to low- and middle-income nations. In China, new circumstances of the coronavirus have remained low for the reason that center of final 12 months, whereas its economy has recovered far sooner than different huge nations.

A better relationship between China and Russia contrasts with their ties with the US. President Joe Biden has vowed to confront China on human rights, mental property and financial coverage and labelled the nation America’s most severe competitor. The US president has additionally imposed sweeping sanctions on Russia for “dangerous international actions”.

The nuclear deal was launched as China seeks to scale back its reliance on coal, of which it’s by far the world’s largest shopper, to fulfill new power targets that embrace decreasing web carbon emissions to zero by 2060.

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