China - Russia

Chronology from Jan 2023 to May 2023

: India chairs the annual SCO defense ministers’ meeting in New Delhi. The SCO defense chiefs pledge to boost strategic communication, focus on consensus, and expand SCO cooperation and jointly safeguard regional security and stability.

: Chinese FM Qin Gang chairs the fourth foreign ministerial meeting with five Central Asian counterparts in Xi’an, China and holds separate meetings with them. Qin tells them that China will firmly support Central Asian countries in safeguarding national sovereignty, independence, security, and territorial integrity, support the countries in independently choosing development paths in light of their national conditions, and oppose any external interference in the internal affairs of Central Asian countries. Qin also announces that the first China-Central Asia Summit will be held in Xi’an in May.

: Vice FM Ma Zhaoxu holds a “diplomatic consultation” with Russian First Deputy FM Vladimir Gennadievich Titov in Beijing. They exchange views on the current international situation, the foreign policies of both countries and international and regional issues of mutual interest and concern.

: China’s new Defense Minister Li Shangfu (李尚福) visits Russia for talks with Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu. President Putin meets Li in the Kremlin shortly after Li’s arrival in Moscow.

: Russian Foreign Minister Lavrov meets with Chinese counterpart Qin Gang in Samarkand of Uzbekistan on the sidelines of the SCO annual foreign ministerial meeting. Lavrov describes relations with China as “robust and resilient.” Prior to this, the two foreign ministers joined Iranian and Pakistani for the 2nd informal meeting on Afghanistan. A joint statement is released calling for more international cooperation on the Afghan issue.

: China and France agree to work for a peaceful solution to the Ukraine conflict during French President Macron’s three-day visit to China. “The two countries support any effort to foster a restoration of peace in Ukraine on the basis of international law and the goals and principles of the Charter of the United Nations,” reads Article 10 of their joint statement.

: China’s UN Ambassador Geng Shuang calls on all nuclear-weapon states to effectively reduce the risk of nuclear war. He also calls for the abolition of nuclear sharing arrangements, no deployment of nuclear weapons abroad by nuclear weapons states, and the withdrawal of nuclear weapons deployed aboard. Geng cites China’s peace proposal for the Ukraine conflict that opposing armed should not attack nuclear power plants or other peaceful nuclear facilities.

: President Xi Jinping pays a state visit to Russia and holds “long, sincere and friendly talks” with President Putin as well as talks with PM Mikhail Mishustin. A dozen documents are signed, including statements of strategic and economic cooperation.

: Chinese FM Qin Gang has a phone call with Ukrainian FM Kuleba. Qin reportedly says that he hopes both sides would “keep alive the hope of dialogue and negotiation and will not close the door to a political settlement.”

: China, Russia, and Iran hold a joint naval drill, code-named “Security Bond-2023,” in the Gulf of Oman. Two Russian ships and one Chinese vessel join the exercises.

: China announces the contribution of 200,000 euros to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) for technical assistance to Ukraine for the safety and security of nuclear power plants or other peaceful nuclear facilities in Ukraine.

: Foreign Minister Qin Gang meets Russian FM Lavrov on the sidelines of the G20 Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in New Delhi.

: China issues a 12-point “Position Paper on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis.”

: Wang Yi, director of CCP’s Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission, visits Moscow for talks with Russian counterpart Nikolai Patrushev, head of Russia’s Security Council, Foreign Minister Lavrov, and President Putin.

: China releases a “Global Security Initiative Concept Paper,” calling for common, sustainable security and sovereignty for all.

: Zhang Jun, China’s Permanent Representative to the UN, says that China supports Russia’s draft resolution submitted to the UN Security Council to investigate sabotage of the Nord Stream gas pipeline in September 2022. Russian submits a draft UNSC resolution to investigate the bombing following publication of Seymour Hersh‘s article on Feb. 8, 2023.

: Russia, China, and South Africa hold second joint naval drill, Mosi-2, in the Indian Ocean off the coast of South Africa. Three South African ships were joined by two Russian and three Chinese naval vessels. In November 2019, the three navies held the first joint naval exercises off Cape Town in waters of the Atlantic Ocean.

: China’s top diplomat Wang Yi meets Ukraine FM Kuleba at the latter’s request on the sidelines of the annual Munich Security Conference.

: China’s Special Envoy on Afghan Affairs Yue Xiaoyong visits Russia and holds talks with Russian counterpart Zamir Kabulov in Moscow. They exchange in-depth views on the situation in Afghanistan, China-Russia coordination on Afghanistan, and other topics.

: Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu travels to Moscow for consultation with Russian counterparts Andrei Rudenko and Sergei Vershinin. They engage in “deep exchange” regarding global and regional issues. He also meets Russian FM Lavrov and the two call for “an early resumption of tourist trips between the two countries.”

: Sino-Russian trade in 2022 increases by 29.3% to $190.8 billion, according to the Chinese customs office.

: China’s newly appointed Foreign Minister Qin Gang holds a telephone talk with Russian counterpart Lavrov. Qin stresses that Chinese-Russian relations are based on the principles of non-allegiance, and non-confrontation, while not targeting any third party.

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