China - Russia

Chronology from May 2022 to Aug 2022

: Russia conducted its “Vostok” (East)-2022“ exercises involving 50,000 military personnel, more than 5,000 pieces of military equipment, including 140 aircraft, 60 warships, boats and support vessels. China, Algeria, India, Belarus, Tajikistan and Mongolia participated. The PLA sends 2,000 servicemen, 300 pieces of equipment, 21 airplanes, and three warships. Vostok-2018 included nearly 300,000 troops including for the first time from the Chinese army. The PLA claims that its participation “is unrelated to the current international and regional situation.”

: Mikhail Gorbachev, first and last Soviet president, dies in Moscow. China expresses condolences over his. Chinese foreign ministry spokesmen Zhao Lijian says that “Mr. Gorbachev made positive contributions to the normalization of China-Soviet Union relations.”

: SCO holds annual defense ministerial meeting in Tashkent, Uzbekistan. Russian Defense Minister Shoigu reportedly said that Russia slowed down its military operations in Ukraine in order to avoid civilian casualties.

: Tashkent hosts SCO’s 17th Meeting of Security Council Secretaries under the presidency of Uzbekistan.

: In his speech to the 10th Moscow Conference on International Security, President Putin depicts Pelosi’s visit as “a thoroughly planned provocation.”

: Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe addresses 10th Moscow Conference on International Security.

: Army-2022 international military-technical forum including a military equipment expo kicks off at the Patriot Exhibition Center outside Moscow. The Russian Defense Ministry was the organizer of the event.

: China participates in 8th annual International Army Games in Russia (main site) and 11 other countries.

: TASS cites Chinese Ambassador Zhang Hanhui as saying that the US the West was now “replicates Ukrainian scenario regarding Taiwan.”

: Russian FM Lavrov meets in Phnom Penh with Chinese counterpart Wang Yi. They criticized “the policy of lawlessness, demonstrated by the US colleagues, who are seeking to establish their dominance.”

: Deputy Chairman of the Russian Security Council Dmitry Medvedev (Russian president in 2008-12 and prime minister in 2012-20) calls Speaker Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan a “malicious provocation.”

: Russian FM Lavrov says, regarding Pelosi’s Taiwan visit, that he did not see any other “reason to create such an irritant literally out of nowhere.”

: Kremlin Spokesman Dmitry Peskov describes Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan as “purely provocative.” Vladimir Dzhabarov, First Deputy Chairman of the International Committee of Russia’s Federation Council, or upper house of Parliament, goes as far as to say that Russia may offer assistance to China if asked.

: Shanghai Cooperation Organization holds its annual foreign ministerial meeting in Uzbekistan. Wang Yi and Lavrov joined the session.

: Special Representative of the Chinese Government on Korean Peninsula Affairs Liu Xiaoming has a phone call with Vice Foreign Minister Igor Morgulov of Russia. They exchange views on the situation on the Korean Peninsula. The two agreed to maintain close coordination regarding the Korean issue.

: Chinese FM Wang Yi criticizes US effort to divide Russia and China when he was interviewed by Chinese media.

: Chinese FM Wang Yi meets Russian FM Lavrov on sidelines of the G20 Foreign Ministers Meeting in Indonesia. Wang repeated China’s claim to hold an “objective and impartial” position on Russia’s special military operation in Ukraine, while confirming deepening bilateral cooperation with Russia.

: President Xi chairs the BRICS 14th summit in Beijing via video. The summit’s Beijing Declaration was adopted and released at the event. Both Xi and Putin joined the event via video. Membership expansion was a key issue for the summit.

: In his virtual speech at the BRICS Business Forum, President Xi criticizes military alliances and hegemonism that led to the Ukraine crisis. Xi also promoted the concept of “indivisible security” in his Global Security Initiative unveiled in April 2022.

: Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Wang Wenbin says that China and Ukraine “maintain open and smooth lines of communication.”

: Xi and Putin talk over the phone. They reaffirmed support to each other in the economic, diplomatic and security areas. Putin briefed Xi on Russia’s operations in Ukraine. They also discussed mil-mil relations.

: Chinese Defense Minister Wei Fenghe says that “on the Ukraine crisis, China has never provided any material support to Russia,” adding that “China-Russia relations is a partnership, not an alliance. It does not target any third party.”

: Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy says at the Shangri-La Dialogue that the world must not leave any country behind that is “at the mercy of another country which is more powerful, in financial terms, in territorial terms, and in terms of equipment.” He did not mention tensions between Taiwan and China in a Q&A after his formal speech.

: The 3rd “China+Central Asia” (C5+1) Foreign Ministers’ Meeting was held in person in Nur-Sultan (Astana before March 2019). The five Central Asian countries are Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. C+C5 ministers all agreed to elevate C+C5 by setting up a mechanism of C+C5 head of states summit. In March, the US (Blinken) and C5 held the 3rd C5+1 foreign minister meeting via video. The first one was held in November 2015 with John Kerry as US Secretary of State.

: Chinese State Councilor Wang Yong says at a virtual meeting with Russia’s envoy to the Volga Federal District that China and Russia had elevated their “level of cooperation under new circumstances.” Both agree to deepen cooperation between local governments of the two countries via the “Yangtze-Volga mechanism.”

: A video conference is held by technical, transportation and economic planning experts from China, Kyrgyzstan, and Uzbekistan. They had a “thorough exchange of views” on construction of the China-Kyrgyzstan-Uzbekistan (CKU) railway, which had been shelved for 25 years at least partially because of Russia’s reservation. The CKU will cut the freight journey between China and Europe by 900 km and 7 days compared with the current Russian and Kazak transit routes. Construction will begin in 2023.

: China FM Wang Yi says that “China is willing to work with the Russian side to continue to implement the important consensus of the two heads of state and promote the development of the global governance system in a more just and reasonable direction.” Wang gave the video speech at a forum held by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the Russian International Affairs Council. Wang’s Russian counterpart Lavrov also attended.

: Russia and China veto a UNSC resolution on the DPRK (North Korea) for its recent missile tests.

: Russian FM Lavrov says in an interview with RT that NATO’s next ‘line of defense’ will be moved to the South China Sea.

: In a speech to George Washington University, US Secretary of State Blinken calls China most serious long-term threat to world order while Russia “poses a clear and present threat.”

: Chinese envoy to the WHO Yang Zhilun votes against a US-backed proposal condemning Russia for creating a health emergency in Ukraine. The resolution was approved by a majority.

: Two Russian Tu-95MS and two Chinese H-6K strategic bombers conduct annual joint aerial patrol over the waters of the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea. President Biden was in Japan for the 2nd day of his official visit.

: Russian FM Lavrov states that Russia would focus on developing relations with China and “reliable” countries to reduce its dependence on Western imports.

: President Biden compares Russia’s invasion of Ukraine to the possibility of China taking Taiwan by force.

: BRICS holds its annual foreign ministerial meeting via video. A joint statement is released calling for dialogue between Russia and Ukraine. It did not use the term “invasion.” Chinese FM Wang Yi criticizes the West’s “absolute” and “unilateral” security policies, as well as arms supply to Ukraine. He also proposed to explore the potential and procedure for BRICS expansion, including mechanism such as BRICS-plus.

: Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo reportedly says that the United States is not “seeing systematic efforts by China” to go around US export controls. China’s technology exports to Russia declined sharply in March 2022, China’s exports of laptops to Russia fell 40% year-on-year.

: China’s Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Zhao Lijian rejects the G7 Foreign Ministers’ Communiqué issued May 14, which urged China to not support Russia in the war, not undermine sanctions imposed on Russia, and “desist from engaging in information manipulation, disinformation and other means to legitimize Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine.”

: Dai Bing, China’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations, supports Russia’s claim in a UNSC meeting that the US conducted covert biological research activities in Ukraine.

: Chinese Ambassador to Russia, Zhang Hanhui praises deepening China-Russia strategic cooperation on energy projects, military technology, and space issues during an interview with TASS.

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