In Russian-Chinese relations, Moscow is advancing, Beijing is keeping a low profile: that became clear again on Monday. Russia's National Security Council released a statement following a visit by its secretary, a close associate of the President Wladimir Putinin the city of Nanping in southeast China.
It said that Nikolai Patrushev and Yang Jiechi - of China senior foreign officials - had agreed to continue military cooperation between the two countries, with maneuvers and patrols, and to strengthen contacts between the general staffs. Patrushev stressed that "the course of developing strategic partnership with China is an absolute priority for Russia's foreign policy."
Out of Beijing all it said was that China was ready to "implement the consensus" that the heads of state of both countries, Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin, had reached. Both sides would strengthen their "strategic coordination," said the Foreign Ministry in Beijing, without giving details.
China and Russia have held joint naval maneuvers around Japan several times. China downplayed its participation in Russia's Vostok 2022 maneuvers in early September by revealing India's participation before Delhi confirmed it.
Just two sentences to Putin
Last week, Putin told the Chinese head of state and party at the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Samarkand, Uzbekistan Xi Jinping, in the “Ukrainian crisis” Russia understands “your questions and concerns about it”. Putin then said the same thing to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The encounters were interpreted as a sign of a lack of support for the attack on Ukraine.
China made efforts to downplay the significance of the Xi-Putin meeting after the Samarkand summit. In a long statement about the head of state's three-day trip to Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan, the talks with Putin are mentioned in only two sentences: Both sides would firmly support each other's "core interests".
The report on Patrushev's conversation with Yang now states that both have expressed concern about the "escalation of tensions on the part of the US and its allies" in Asia; on the Ukraine it is only said that the “situation” there was also discussed. After the Xi and Putin meeting, the US State Department again stated that the United States had no knowledge of China's military support for Putin's war of aggression.
In August, Chinese drone maker DJI dismissed statements by the Russian embassy in Beijing that hailed one of the company's products as a "true symbol of modern warfare." DJI announced that the drones were only used for civilian purposes. In April, the company withdrew from Russia after a request from Ukraine.