China’s deep economic and political ties to Russia have not been undermined by Moscow’s all-out invasion of Ukraine.
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has arrived in China, Moscow’s Foreign Ministry announced, where he will meet with President Xi Jinping and sign a series of agreements on infrastructure and trade.
Mishustin was welcomed at the airport by Moscow’s ambassador to China Igor Morgulov and Beijing’s top diplomat Zhang Hanhui, who arrived in Shanghai on Monday evening, the ministry said.
He will participate in the Russia-China business forum and visit the Petrochemical Research Institute in Shanghai, the Kremlin, as well as hold discussions with “representatives of Russian business circles.”
That forum invited several sanctioned Russian investors — from the major fertilizer, steel and mining sectors — as well as Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, who oversees energy affairs, Bloomberg News reported.
China has become a major source of energy for Russia in the past year, after Western countries imposed heavy sanctions over Moscow’s all-out invasion of Ukraine.
Mishustin will travel to Beijing, where he will meet with Xi and Prime Minister Li Qiang, according to Russian state media TASS.
Since Moscow began its invasion, China and Russia have been increasing their economic cooperation and diplomatic ties in recent years, and their strategic partnership has been on the rise.
China claimed to be a neutral party in that war, but did not condemn Russia’s actions.
In February, Beijing released a 12-point document calling for a “political solution” to the conflict, which would allow Western countries to take back most of the territory Russia has seized in Ukraine.
At a summit in Moscow in March, Xi and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed an agreement to bring their relationship into a “new era of cooperation.” Xi invited Putin, who was the target of an International Criminal Court arrest warrant for alleged war crimes in Ukraine, to visit Beijing.
Analysts say China has become dominant in its relationship with Russia, and its sentiments are growing as Moscow’s international isolation widens.