China Russia Explainer

Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, and Russian President Vladimir Putin meeti in Beijing, China, in 2022. Alexei Druzhinin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP

CHINA — Russia and China agreed to start a dialogue on Eurasian security with the aim of “double counteracting” the European-Atlantic alliance led by the U.S.

“We have a common goal of increasing security in Eurasia,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said Tuesday at a news conference with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi in Beijing. “We agreed with our Chinese friends to start a dialogue and get other like-minded countries to join us.” Lavrov added that Wang proposed the idea of “double counteracting” the U.S. and its allies in response to the “double deterrence” of Western countries against Russia and China.

China on Monday said it hasn’t sought to benefit from Russia’s war in Ukraine after the U.S. warned allies that Beijing has stepped up its support for Moscow, including by providing geospatial intelligence, to help it in its invasion of the neighboring ex-Soviet state.

President Biden raised concerns about the matter with Xi Jinping during their recent call, the White House National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen underscored the urgency of the issue during her visit to China, saying that its banks and exporters should not bolster Russia’s military capacity. She warned “they will face significant consequences if they do.”

China US Yellen

U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen, center, and U.S. Ambassador to China Nicholas Burns, center right, visit the Guozijian Imperial College site in Beijing, China, on Monday. Tatan Syuflana/Associated Press/Pool

Lavrov also said Russia and China confirmed there is no prospect of holding meetings to settle the conflict with Ukraine when Russia’s positions are ignored, a reference to a planned June peace conference in Switzerland backed by Kyiv. Ukraine’s allies see China’s presence at such a conference as important for making the initiative successful.


At a regular press conference in Beijing on Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Mao Ning sidestepped a question on Lavrov’s comments about a potential meeting. “China supports the holding in due course of an international peace conference that is recognized by both sides — of Russia and Ukraine — and ensures the equal participation of all parties and fair discussions on all peace plans,” she said.

Mao added that she had “no information” to offer on China’s participation in the planned peace conference.

Beijing and Moscow have intensified their diplomatic and economic partnership since President Vladimir Putin sent troops into Ukraine in 2022, which has helped Russia weather unprecedented Western sanctions.

In March, Wang trumpeted a “new paradigm” in China’s ties with Russia. Two-way trade hit a record $240 billion last year, driven by Chinese imports of Russian oil and exports of cars and electronics.

Putin and Xi are set to meet at a regional summit in Kazakhstan in June and in October at a leaders’ meeting of the BRICS emerging economies’ bloc, Lavrov said. Putin is also set to visit China in May, Reuters reported last month, in what may be his first overseas trip since winning reelection in March in a tightly controlled vote. The Russian president, who has met Xi more than 40 times, was last in China in October.

Lavrov also met with Xi Tuesday, according to the Interfax news service.


With assistance from Colum Murphy.

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