China’s President Xi Jinping emphasized the importance of opposing external interference during a phone call with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday, according to Chinese state media reports. The call, made to mark the Lunar New Year, underscored the strong alliance between Beijing and Moscow, even as Russia faces international criticism for its actions in Ukraine.
Despite facing backlash from some countries over its invasion of Ukraine, Russia has found unwavering support from China, with whom it has steadily strengthened ties. High-level visits and dialogue between the two nations have remained consistent, and their trade reached record levels in 2023.
During the conversation, President Xi stressed the need for strategic collaboration to defend the sovereignty, security, and development interests of both countries. He also emphasized the importance of resisting interference in internal affairs by external forces, as reported by Chinese state broadcaster CCTV.
President Putin echoed Xi’s sentiments, describing the bilateral ties between China and Russia as being at an “unprecedentedly high level,” according to a Kremlin statement.
China’s neutrality in the conflict in Ukraine has drawn criticism from Ukraine’s allies, particularly the United States. Additionally, China has faced scrutiny for its assertive actions towards Taiwan, a democratic island that Beijing claims as part of its territory.
Regarding the Taiwan issue, Putin reiterated Russia’s support for the “one China” policy during discussions on the situation in the Asia-Pacific region, as noted in the Kremlin’s statement.
President Xi highlighted the resilience of the China-Russia relationship, noting that the two nations have overcome numerous challenges together. He expressed optimism about the future of bilateral relations, stating that they are poised for new opportunities.
The phone call between Xi and Putin underscores the close partnership between China and Russia, which remains steadfast amid geopolitical tensions and global uncertainties.