Monday, 23 May, 2022

Amity with Moscow ‘rock solid’: Beijing

BEIJING: China stressed on Monday that the friendship between Beijing and Moscow was still "rock solid", despite international condemnation of Russia's ongoing invasion of Ukraine, as Beijing said it was open to helping mediate peace, reports AFP.

China has refused to condemn its close ally Moscow after only last month touting a "no limits" strategic partnership between the two countries.

"The friendship between the two peoples is rock solid, and both sides' future cooperation prospects are very vast," said Foreign Minister Wang Yi at a press briefing during the Chinese leadership's annual political congress in Beijing. But he said China was "willing to work with the international community to carry out necessary mediation, when necessary".

The European Union's foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said last week that China should mediate future peace talks between Russia and Ukraine as Western powers cannot fulfil the role, in an interview with Spanish daily El Mundo.

Beijing has repeatedly said it would play a "constructive role in calling for negotiations" to resolve the crisis, but has not previously committed to joining or hosting any peace talks.

Wang also said China would send humanitarian aid to Ukraine.

The foreign minister described the China-Russia relationship as "the world's most crucial bilateral relationship", which "is conducive to world peace, stability and development".

He referred to last month's China-Russia partnership commitment as "clearly and unmistakably showing the world" that both countries "jointly oppose the revival of the Cold War mentality and stoking ideological confrontations".

This month, Russian gas giant Gazprom said it had signed a contract to design a pipeline to China, taking a step towards a new supply agreement that could ease Russia's reliance on European buyers.