A top Chinese official said this week that China is willing to work with Russia to establish a new world order that will work “in a more just and reasonable direction.”
Yang Jiechi, the director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China (CCP) Central Committee, met with outgoing Russian Ambassador to China in Beijing Andrey Denisov on Monday, the Chinese state-run CGTN news service reported.
“The Chinese side is willing to work with the Russian side to continuously implement high-level strategic cooperation between the two countries, safeguard common interests and promote the development of the international order in a more just and reasonable direction,” Yang said, according to a Foreign Ministry statement obtained by Bloomberg.
Yang’s comment comes as Chinese leader Xi Jinping is set to meet Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Samarkand, Uzbekistan on Thursday and Friday. Uzbekistan is hosting a summit for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization this week.
Xi’s travel to Kazakhstan and then Uzbekistan will mark his first foreign trip since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. The meeting between Xi and Putin will also be the first event together since Russia invaded Ukraine in February.
China and Russia have grown closer together in recent years and particularly so in the months since the Ukrainian invasion began. Chinese officials have avoided casting blame on Russia for their invasion and have repeatedly criticized the sanctions the U.S. and other western nations have raised against Russia as retaliation for Putin’s invasion.
Early on in the invasion, reports circulated that China was considering providing sanctions relief and military aid to help Russia. China has not yet rendered such aid to Russia but Chinese exports of cars and electronics have filled a void left by other countries that pulled business out of Russia.
According to Bloomberg, 81 percent of new car imports in Russia in the second quarter of the year were Chinese-built. China’s Xiaomi also became the most popular phone brand in Russia during that time.