MOSCOW (Sputnik) – Russia and China have so close ties that third countries are not able to drive a wedge between Moscow and Beijing, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said.
According to the minister, the Russian and Chinese foreign ministries have been enjoying constructive, trustworthy and partnership relations, which allows them to fulfill all the set goals. Lavrov noted that Russia was maintaining very close contacts with China, adding that he had already met his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi, 10 times in 2018-2019.
“We have such close relations that third parties have no space to drive a wedge [between Russia and China],” Lavrov said in an interview with the Trud newspaper.
Last year, the leaders of Russia and China noted that the bilateral relations had reached a new level, according to the minister.
“This was reflected in the joint statement, signed by our leaders, in which the parties set further goals and directions of developing the bilateral partnership: strategic support and mutual assistance, deep integration and rapprochement, use of the innovation approach, mutual benefit and gain. The document also sets specific goals, including those on the international scene, whose implementation has already been launched by us and our Chinese partners,” Lavrov added.
Russia and China have a centuries-long history of bilateral relations. In 1649-1689, the countries went through a border war, which culminated in the 1686 siege of the Russian fort of Albazin by the Qing dynasty’s troops and the 1689 Treaty of Nerchinsk. The Soviet Union had two border conflicts with China: over the Chinese Eastern Railway in 1929 and the Damansky Island (Zhenbao) in 1969. At the same time, the Soviet Union provided the Communist Party of China with great support during the civil war that ended with the Communists’ victory in 1950.
After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Russia has been developing close relations with China, with the countries actively cooperating both in bilateral and multilateral formats, such as BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.