China - Russia

Chronology from May 2023 to Aug 2023

: Russia and China react strongly to the pending release of nuclear wastewater from the Fukushima nuclear power plant beginning Aug. 24. China lodges a strong diplomatic protest. Russian Foreign Ministry Spokeswoman Maria Zakharova told Moskva-24 television that Japan should allow interested countries to take samples of wastewater from the nuclear power plant.

: 15th BRICS Summit is held in Johannesburg, South Africa and invites six countries (Argentina, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates) to join the group, from Jan. 1, 2024. BRICS’ New Development Bank, headquartered in Shanghai, has provided more than $35 billion for about 100 projects of its member states since 2015.

: Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu attends 11th Moscow Conference on International Security in Russia on Aug. 14-16 and pays a visit to Belarus on Aug. 16-19. In Moscow, Li delivers a speech at the conference, and meets with Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and defense heads from Iran, Saudi Arabia, Kazakhstan, Vietnam and others. In Belarus, Li meets President Alexander Lukashenko and Defense Minister Viktor Khrenin.

: Chinese Ambassador to North Korea Wang Yajun invites and meets Russian counterpart Ambassador Alexander Matsegora, his wife, and other Russian diplomats at the Chinese diplomatic mission in Pyongyang. “The sides exchanged opinions on a wide range of issues and agreed to continue close working contacts and friendly cooperation,” according to China. Chinese media also reports that the first secretary of the Russian Embassy in Beijing Kravchenko (Кравченко) also joined the meeting.

: Russian Ambassador to South Korea Andrey Kuli meets Chinese Ambassador to South Korea Xing Haiming at the Chinese Embassy. They discussed Russia-China relations and issues surrounding the Korean Peninsula “in a warm, friendly mood.” This is eight days before the trilateral summit in Camp David between US President Joe Biden, Japanese Prime Minister Kishida Fumio, and South Korean President Yoon Suk Yeol.

: Chinese FM Wang Yi calls Russian counterpart Lavrov and told him that “on any international and multilateral occasion,” China would “uphold an independent and impartial position, make objective and rational statements, actively promote peace and talks, and strive to seek a political solution to the Ukraine crisis.”

: Ambassador Li Hui, Chinese special envoy for the Ukraine conflict, participates in international conference on the Ukraine-Russian conflict in Saudi Arabia.

: Chinese Embassy in Russia lodges representations over Russian border officers’ “obstruction” of the entry of five Chinese citizens. The Russian side is said to have “brutal and excessive law enforcement conduct” toward the five on July 29 when they tried to enter Russia by car from Kazakhstan through Karauzek port in Astrakhan Oblast. The Russian side says it is an isolated incident and “is out of the political context,” and Russia holds no discriminatory policies or actions against Chinese citizens. Russia’s initial investigation shows that “the destination of their visa application is not consistent with the actual destination, which is in violation of relevant Russian laws and regulations.”

: Chinese and Russian navies conduct the third joint patrol of the western and northern Pacific.

: Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and Chinese Politburo member Li Hongzhong join celebration in Pyongyang, DPRK for the 70th anniversary of the armistice agreement ending fighting in the Korean War. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un separately meets Li and Shoigu.

: FM Wang Yi meets Secretary of the Russian Federation Security Council Nikolai Patrushev on the sidelines of the annual session of BRICS security officials in Johannesburg, South Africa. The two exchange views on bilateral and multilateral issues. Seven non-BRICS nations (Belarus, Burundi, Cuba, Egypt, Kazakhstan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates) are invited and join the conference.

: Chinese UN Ambassador Geng Shuang calls in a UNSC session for the earliest resumption of grain and fertilizer export by Ukraine and Russia. The key for the Ukraine conflict is its political resolution, says Geng.

: Russia and China conduct joint naval drill “North/Interaction-2023” in the Sea of Japan. Five Russian and five Chinese naval ships participate. The Chinese ships pay a “friendly visit” to the port of Vladivostok after the drill. In total, about 20 combat maneuvers were conducted, including joint artillery firing at various types of targets.

: Ukraine’s Deputy Economy Minister Taras Kachka visits China and holds talks with China’s vice commerce minister where the two chair the 7th session of the China-Ukraine commission of economic and trade cooperation. China expresses interest in “importing quality products from Ukraine.” Kachka is quoted as saying that as an important partner of China’s Belt & Road Initiative (BRI), Ukraine will “step up efforts to protect the safety of Chinese-funded enterprises in Ukraine.” Kachka is the first high-level visit by a Ukraine official to the country. The visit is apparently worked out by new Ukraine ambassador Pavlo Riabikin, who began his posting a month before.

: Russian FM Lavrov and Chinese FM Wang Yi hold talks in Jakarta on sidelines of the annual AMM events. They discussed bilateral, regional, and global issues, as well as SCO and BRICS affairs.

: Russian FM Lavrov, Chinese FM Wang Yi and Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi hold trilateral talks during the 56th ASEAN Foreign Ministers’ Meeting (AMM) with dialogue partners in Jakarta. Besides China and Russia, ASEAN’s other dialogue partners include India, New Zealand, Australia, Japan, South Korea, the European Union, the UK, Canada, and the US. Lavrov and Wang Yi express support for ASEAN centrality in regional affairs.

: Russian missile corvettes (Project-20380 Steregushchiy class) Gromkiy (335) and Sovershenniy (333) call at Shanghai for a week-long (June 5-11) “business visit.” Both vessels belong to Russia’s Pacific Fleet, headquartered in Vladivostok. Their port call follows a six-week deployment to and back from Indonesia. Upon departure from Shanghai, the two ships conducted communication, maneuvering, and search and rescue exercises with Chinese naval vessels.

: 23rd SCO summit is held online, despite the lift of COVID restrictions. Iran formally becomes a full member state of the SCO. The 2,400-word New Delhi Declaration calls for “a more representative, just, democratic and multipolar world order” as opposed to “bloc, ideological, and confrontational approaches,” “interference in the internal affairs of other countries under the pretext of combating terrorism and extremism,” “global anti-missile systems,” and “weaponization of outer space.” It also calls for an early settlement of the Afghan issue and supports the Belt and Road Initiative (with the exception of India).

: Russian Navy Commander Adm. Nikolay Yevmenov begins eight-day visit to China. After meeting Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu in Beijing, Yevmenov traveled to Qingdao and Shanghai where he visited naval facilities, submarine training centers, and naval shipyards.

: Beijing hosts the Eighth International Conference “Russia and China: Cooperation in the New Era” jointly chaired by the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS). Russian FM Lavrov and Chinese counterpart Qin Gang greeted participants during the conference opening in a video message.

: China supports the Russian government in its effort to stabilize the country following the Wagner “events.”

: Foreign Minister Qin Gang holds meeting with Russia’s Deputy Foreign Minister Rudenko. The meeting is a day after the Wagner mutiny (June 23-24). Rudenko also holds separate meetings with Deputy FM Ma Zhaoxu and Special Representative of the Chinese Government on Korean Peninsula Affairs Liu Xiaoming. He also participates in the 8th international conference “Russia and China: Cooperation in a New Era” on June 27.

: China’s UN Ambassador Geng Shuang warns that warring sides should stay away from the nuclear redline.

: Ukraine’s new ambassador to China Pavlo Riabikin presents copies of letters of credence. His appointment was made immediately after the Xi-Zelenskyy telephone talks on April 26. Riabikin is the former Ukraine Minister for Strategic Industries. His arrival fills a position that has been vacant since his predecessor died in February 2021.

: In his speech to the plenary session of the 26th St Petersburg International Economic Forum, President Putin says that over 80% of Russian trade with China is in the ruble or the yuan.

: President Putin sends a message for President Xi’s 70th birthday. This is reciprocity for Xi’s greeting message to Putin’s 70th birthday on Oct. 7, 2022.

: Two Russian Tu-96 and two Chinese H-6K strategic bombers conduct the sixth joint patrols of the Sea of Japan, East China Sea and Western Pacific. Russian bombers landed and took off from a Chinese military airfield.

: China’s Special Representative for Eurasian Affairs Li Hui visits Russia as the last stop of his five-nation tour (Ukraine, Poland, France, and Germany) to discuss a peaceful ending of the Ukraine conflict. Li held talks with FM Lavrov and Deputy Foreign Ministers Rudenko Andrey Yurevich and Galuzin Mikhail Yuryevich.

: President Xi is invited to deliver a speech to the second Eurasian Economic Forum of the Eurasian Economic Union via video. The forum is held online and offline in Moscow.

: Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin visits China. He starts his trip in Shanghai where he holds talks with President Xi and Premier Li Qing. The two prime ministers sign five agreements in the areas of investment, customs phytosanitary requirements, patent rights, sports, etc. In Beijing, Mishustin visits Qinghua University and lays a wreath at the Monument to the People’s Heroes in Tiananmen Square. In Shanghai, he meets the Russian business community, joins a Russia-Chinese business forum, meets BRICS New Development Bank President Dilma Rousseff, and visits Shanghai Research Institute of Petrochemical Technology.

: Chen Wenqing, head of the Commission for Political and Legal Affairs of the CPC Central Committee, travels to Moscow for the 11th International Meeting of High Representatives for Security Issues. Chen gives a speech on May 24. On May 22, Chen and Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev co-chair the eighth meeting of the China-Russia law-enforcement and security cooperation mechanism. Chen holds separate meetings, on the sidelines of the Security Conference, with Russian Foreign Intelligence Service Director Sergei Naryshkin, heads of the SCO and BRICS delegations.

: China’s Special Representative for Eurasian Affairs Li Hui visits Poland and exchanges views with Polish officials on the Ukraine issue.

: First 5+1 summit between China and five central Asian states (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan) is held in Xi’an, China. President Xi Jinping chairs the summit and gives a keynote speech calling for more practical and institutionalized cooperation. The heads of the six nations issue the Xi’an Declaration and six other documents. More than 100 cooperation deals are inked during the two-day summit. A Chinese diplomat is quoted as saying that the newly elevated China-Central Asian platform does not target any third party. Nor does it intend to compete with any other mechanisms.

: China’s Special Representative for Eurasian Affairs Li Hui visits Ukraine, the first stop of his five-nation tour (Poland, France, Germany, and Russia) to discuss a peaceful end to the Ukraine conflict. Li holds talks with President Zelenskyy and other senior officials. In late February, China publishes its 12-point “position paper on the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis.”

: Chinese FM Qin Gang and Russian FM Lavrov meet on sidelines of the SCO annual foreign ministerial meeting in New Delhi, India.

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