| 19 April 2024, Friday |

Chinese defense minister meets with Russian navy chief

China’s Defense Minister Li Shangfu stated on Monday that China aims to enhance communication at all levels with the Russian navy. This statement came after a meeting with Admiral Nikolai Yevmenov, the head of the Russian navy, in Beijing.
Li said that the two countries should, “regularly organize joint exercises, joint cruises and joint military skills competition,” as well as “expand practical cooperation in professional fields.”

Beijing and Moscow took part in joint naval exercises in the Gulf of Oman in March.

The discussion to expand naval cooperation with Russia came during the highest-level public talks between military officials from the two countries since a failed mutiny in Russia last month.
Li added that the two countries should “make positive contributions to maintaining regional and world peace and stability.”

According to the Chinese defence ministry readout, Russian Navy head Yevmenov said the two countries should “continue to expand exchanges at all levels of the two countries navies” and “continuously push the relationship between the two militaries to new heights.”

Beijing has previously said that it supported Russia in “protecting national stability” regarding the shortlived Wagner mutiny against Russian armed forces.

China – Russia relations have grown closer
But Chinese leader Xi Jinping is yet to hold public talks with President Vladimir since the incident.

Moscow and Beijing have ramped up economic cooperation and diplomatic relations in recent years.

However, since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year, their strategic partnership has only grown closer.

The two countries’ militaries frequently hold joint drills.

China has refused to condemn the war in Ukraine and says it is a neutral party but has drawn criticism from the West for its ties with Moscow.

  • DW