New Chinese defence minister in Moscow: – We have very close ties
Hans Rustad 17/04/2023 08:10
China’s Defense Minister Gen. Li Shangfu speaks to Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu during their meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, Sunday, April 16, 2023. (Photo via Twitter)
Relations between China and Russia have entered a new era, says China’s new Defense Minister Li Shangfu. – We have very close ties. They go further than the military-political alliances of the Cold War. They are very close, Li said after the meeting.
Western media have wanted to underplay the relationship and want China to act as a neutral observer. That impression is difficult to maintain as China has chosen a side and when it acts as a mediator it will have Russia’s interests in mind.
Putin knows how to emphasise the importance of having China as a friend and ally.
Putin boasted that the countries are expanding their military cooperation. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu was also present.
We work actively through our militaries, exchange information regularly, work together in technical areas, and hold joint exercises, Putin said. (NTB-Reuters-AFP)
Li called the relationship special and of strategic importance.
“This is my first overseas visit since taking over as China’s defense minister. I specifically chose Russia for this in order to emphasise the special nature and strategic importance of our bilateral ties,” Li said.