On Monday, the defence minister of China stated that his country seeks to increase naval cooperation with Russia in the highest-level public talks between the military officials from the two nations since a failed mutiny in Russia last month.
Li Shangfu talked in Beijing with Nikolai Yevmenov, the Russian Navy head. Shangfu said that he hoped both countries could “strengthen communication at all levels”, per a readout from the Chinese defence ministry.
He also stated that China and Russia should regularly organize joint naval exercises, cruises, and joint military skills competitions and expand their practical cooperation in certain professional fields.
Moscow and Beijing should “make positive contributions to maintaining regional and world peace and stability”, he added.
The head of the Russian Navy, Yevmenov, agreed and said that the two nations should expand their exchanges at all levels and push the relationship between the two militaries to new heights.
These talks were of high level between the military officials of Russia and China since the head of the Wagner mercenary group, Yevgeny Progozhin, led his forces in a short rebellion against Russia’s top military brass, a big embarrassment for Kremlin.
China said it supports Russia in ‘protecting its national stability’ after the mutiny; however, Xi Jinping is yet to hold public talks with President Putin over this incident.
China said it maintains a neutral stance about the Russian invasion of Ukraine, which is why Western countries have criticized the former for its refusal to condemn Moscow for its actions.
China and Russia have increased their economic cooperation and diplomatic contacts in recent years, and their strategic relationships have grown since Russia invaded Ukraine last year.
References: The Hindu, The Jakarta Post
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