China and Russia have expressed their commitment to strengthening their military cooperation and deepening ties through joint drills and other areas of collaboration. Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu made these comments during talks with the head of the Russian Navy, Nikolay Evmenov, in Beijing on Monday.
According to the Chinese Defense Ministry, Li emphasized that the relationship between the armed forces of both countries has been developing steadily but there is still room for further improvement. He emphasized the need for joint work to deepen and solidify their relations, make new progress, and move to a new level. Li also expressed his hope for strengthened communication at all levels and regular organization of joint exercises, along with an expansion of practical cooperation in professional fields.
Li stressed that this enhanced cooperation between China and Russia will contribute positively to maintaining regional and world peace and stability. He highlighted the importance of their joint efforts in making constructive contributions in this regard.
On the Russian side, Evmenov stated that Moscow attaches great importance to boosting military cooperation with Beijing. He expressed Russia’s eagerness to maintain close coordination with China and continue expanding exchanges at all levels between their armed forces. Evmenov also mentioned their plans to organize joint naval exercises, joint cruises, and other important training activities.
The economic and military ties between Russia and China have become closer since the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine in February 2022. While China has not provided military aid to Russia, it has resisted Western pressure to condemn or sanction Moscow. Instead, China has consistently called for a peaceful settlement of the crisis and argued that US actions and NATO expansion have contributed to the escalation of the fighting.
Li’s visit to Russia in April, shortly after his appointment as defense minister, was aimed at showcasing the high level of Chinese-Russian relations. The trip aimed to demonstrate to the world their strong and cooperative partnership.
In line with their commitment to cooperation, Russia has confirmed its participation in the Chinese ‘Northern/Interaction-2023’ military exercises scheduled for later this year. Additionally, their air forces conducted their sixth joint patrol mission over the waters of the Sea of Japan and East China Sea in June.
The continued strengthening of military cooperation between China and Russia serves as a testament to their shared interests and commitment to regional and global stability. As major powers, their collaboration plays a crucial role in shaping the geopolitical landscape, ensuring peace and security, and fostering mutual understanding and trust between the two nations.