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Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov Goes to China Seeking Support

The Moscow-Beijing friendship just gets cozier.

Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi on April 9. When two enemies of the West gather to conspire, can anything good come of it? Russia has been dependent on China for economic support to skirt the financial and trade sanctions placed on the Kremlin for its unprovoked attacks on Ukraine. What more the People’s Republic of China (PRC) can do to help Russia prevail in the conflict undoubtedly topped the list of topics.

Lavrov and Close Ties to China

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has brought Beijing and Moscow together in common cause against the West and particularly the United States. “China and Russia declared a ‘no limits’ partnership in February 2022 when Putin visited Beijing just days before he sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine, triggering the deadliest land war in Europe since World War Two,” Reuters observed at the time. In past reporting, Liberty Nation explained that Moscow can trade its stockpile of weapons-grade plutonium for increased PRC support. “In the quid pro quo world of geopolitics, Russia [can help] the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) to increase the number of its nuclear weapons launchers and warheads.”

China’s President Xi Jinping has been in lockstep with Russia’s autocratic leader Vladimir Putin’s rationale for the murderous campaign against Ukraine. The Associated Press described Moscow and Beijing’s meeting of the minds:

“The two continent-sized authoritarian states, increasingly in dispute with democracies and NATO, seek to gain influence in Africa, the Middle East and South America. China has backed Russia’s claim that President Vladimir Putin launched his assault in 2022 because of Western provocations, without producing any solid evidence.”

Following the early round of discussions between Wang and Lavrov, the readout by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning emphasized the standard platitudes about China supporting Russia’s “development and revitalization under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin.” According to Mao, “The China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for the new era has grown on a high level, our ever-lasting friendship enjoys more solid support from the people of our two countries.” Mao went on:

“Foreign Minister Wang Yi stressed the need to uphold true multilateralism and oppose exclusive groupings for bloc confrontation, particularly in the Asia-Pacific. NATO should not dip its hand into the common home of countries in this region. Nothing said or done that fans division and confrontation has market or future in the Asia-Pacific.”

However, the sentiment does not apply to China and Russia meddling in the “common home” of countries in other regions with naval exercises. Recently, Russian, Chinese, and Iranian navies fomented conflict in the Gulf of Oman near the Gulf of Aden with missile attacks on international merchant vessels by the Iran-backed Houthi terrorists in Yemen. “The five-day exercise, ‘Maritime Security Belt 2024,’ involved both naval and aviation forces, with the primary objective of enhancing the security of maritime economic activities, according to Russia’s Ministry of Defense,” Stephanie L. Freid wrote for Voice of America. The exercise involved more than 20 warships, smaller boats, support vessels, and helicopters.

Close Sino-Russian Relationship Poses Threat

In addition to bolstering Moscow’s momentum in attacking Ukrainian forces, the strengthening ties between the Kremlin and the CCP increase the threat the two countries pose to the United States. Last August, “The US Navy responded in force when China and Russia expanded their maritime exercise operation from the Sea of Japan to sovereign waters off Alaska,” Liberty Nation disclosed.

The alliance between Russia and China does not bode well for solving the conflict in Ukraine or producing geopolitical stability in the Indo-Pacific. A campaign to influence non-aligned countries to oppose the West is well within reach for the two countries. The mutually beneficial trade and economic relationship gives Russia what it needs to continue the carnage in Ukraine. US officials have warned China about providing war materials to Russia, but there is no evidence it has been heeded. The talks between Lavrov and Wang represent a threat the rest of the world should weigh heavily.

The views expressed are those of the author and not of any other affiliate.

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