China’s defense minister Dong Jun has told his Russian counterpart Sergey Shoigu that strategic cooperation between Moscow and Beijing is a pillar of maintaining peace around the globe, in his first public appearance since his appointment at the end of last year.
As two great powers, Russia and China should deepen their cooperation and “decisively” respond to global challenges, the defense chiefs emphasized during a video call on Wednesday.
“We have supported you on the Ukrainian issue despite the fact that the US and the EU continue to put pressure on the Chinese side,” Dong Jun stated, promising that Beijing “will not change or abandon our established policy course over this” even under the threat of more sanctions.
At the same time, Beijing feels “strong support from the Russian side on the Taiwan issue as well as on other topics of our key interests,” Dong added. “As the two most important and key forces in the world, we should decisively respond to global challenges.”
China’s newly-appointed defense chief said that “the US is always targeting Russia and China, seeking to retain its hegemony around the globe,” but noted that the “history and the reality prove that hegemony is doomed to failure.”
Shoigu agreed that unlike Western states, Russia and China are not “creating military blocs” and their military cooperation is not “directed against third countries.” The defense chief noted that “Russian-Chinese relations in the military sphere are developing steadily in all areas,” and said he was looking forward to “close, productive cooperation” with his Chinese counterpart.
China’s position on the Ukraine crisis has put it at odds with the US, with some American officials accusing Beijing of actively supporting Moscow rather than maintaining neutrality. Beijing has blamed NATO’s expansion in Europe for triggering the crisis in Ukraine and has denounced the use of unilateral sanctions by the US and its allies as a tool of geopolitical pressure.
Moscow perceives the Ukraine conflict as part of a Western proxy war against Russia, which is being waged in an attempt to preserve US hegemony on the world stage. Chinese officials also repeatedly said that Washington is stuck in a “Cold War mentality.”
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