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China and Russia pledge to work together to maintain ‘supply chain stability’

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China and Russia pledged to maintain “industrial supply chain stability” just days after US Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen warned Beijing against supporting China’s war effort. Moscow.

At a meeting in Beijing on Tuesday, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov reiterated their calls for closer collaboration between their two countries against “hegemonism”, the Chinese Ministry of Affairs said foreign.

“China and Russia will work more actively to converge their interests. . . and work together to maintain the stability of the international industrial supply chain,” Wang said in a ministry statement.

The United States’ strong expressions of mutual support and veiled condemnation came as Yellen returned to Washington after a six-day trip to China.

The US Treasury Secretary warned his counterparts in Beijing on Saturday of “significant consequences” for Chinese companies that provided “material support for Russia’s war against Ukraine, including support for the industrial base of Russian defense.

Lavrov’s visit to Beijing offered the latest signs of the growing partnership between China and Russia, more than two years after Moscow’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

In a meeting with President Xi Jinping, Lavrov said Russia was “delighted” with China’s success under his leadership and offered veiled criticism of countries “trying to contain the development of China, just as they are trying to contain that of Russia,” according to Russian media. Interfax agency.

Chinese state television quoted Xi as saying that Beijing and Moscow had embarked on the path of “harmonious coexistence” and “win-win cooperation.”

Lavrov supported China’s peace plan for Ukraine, which does not condemn Russia for the invasion and largely echoes the Kremlin’s arguments on the war.

Even though Western countries have imposed sanctions and trade embargoes against Russia, Moscow has supported its economy and defense industry through expanding trade with China, imports from third countries and military supplies. direct from North Korea and Iran.

Due to Western sanctions, Russia has become dependent on China not only as an importer but also as the main customer for its exports. China buys about 40 percent of Russia’s crude oil and most of its coal. It is one of the three main buyers of Russian oil products, gas pipelines and LNG.

Interfax quoted Lavrov as saying that relations between Russia and China had reached an “unprecedented level” and that President Vladimir Putin’s re-election in March provided “additional guarantees” for strengthening ties.

Wang assured his counterpart that China would “continue to support Russia’s development and revitalization under the leadership of President Putin,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said.

Russia said Lavrov’s visit was in preparation for a planned trip by Putin to meet Xi in China later this year. The Russian foreign minister said the two leaders would also meet at the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summits in Kazakhstan in June and the Brics forum in Russia in October.

Yellen’s comments over the weekend followed warnings last week from US Secretary of State Antony Blinken to EU and NATO foreign ministers that Beijing was helping Moscow “on a worrying scale.” “, particularly with regard to Russian production of optical equipment and thrusters and its space sector.

In other comments Tuesday, China’s Foreign Ministry said Beijing would send one of Xi’s top lieutenants, Zhao Leji, to North Korea for a courtesy visit.

The trip follows increasingly close relations between Russia and North Korea – a country that Beijing has traditionally sought to keep closely within its sphere of influence – with Moscow needing Pyongyang’s huge reserves of military ordinance to support its war effort in Ukraine.

Additional reporting by Max Seddon in Lausanne

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