China praises ties to Russia, sending aid to Ukraine

China’s foreign minister on Monday referred to Russia as Beijing’s “most important strategic partner” despite growing casualties amid Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

Wang Yi specifically referred to China’s ties with Russia as “one of the most crucial bilateral relationships in the world,” The Associated Press reported.

As the U.S., the European Union and much of the rest of the world which has imposed sanctions against Russia in response to the invasion, China has refused to condemn Russia’s actions throughout the attack in Ukraine. 

Meanwhile, China claims that sanctions create other issues and jeopardize a political solution to the crisis. 

“No matter how perilous the international landscape, we will maintain our strategic focus and promote the development of a comprehensive China-Russia partnership in the new era,” Wang said.

Wang also had a call with Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Saturday, during which he said China did not want to “add fuel to the flames” in Ukraine. Instead, he called for negotiations to resolve the crisis, the AP added. 

Reuters noted that Wang also said China’s Red Cross would provide aid to Ukraine “as soon as possible,” marking the first announcement of such help from Beijing in the crisis. Wang did not provide further details of what that aid would entail. 

Russia’s attack on Ukraine has prompted comparisons to China and Taiwan. But Wang said Taiwan was a “fundamentally different” issue from Ukraine because the island is “an inalienable part of China’s territory,” according to the wire service.

Last month, Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin met in Beijing. Following that meeting, the leaders issued a joint statement, saying they had “strong mutual support for the protection of their core interests.”

Russia has voiced support of Taiwan as “inalienable part of China, and opposes any forms of independence of Taiwan,” and China had supported Russia’s opposition to enlarging NATO. 

Tags Antony Blinken China Russia Taiwan Ukraine Vladimir Putin Wang Yi

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