China and Russia need to “lead the correct direction of global governance reform”, according to Chinese President Xi Jinping, who hailed the two countries’ partnership at a meeting with a top Russian politician in Beijing on Monday, state media reported.
Beijing and Moscow have ramped up economic cooperation and diplomatic contacts in recent years, with exchanges only growing closer since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine last year.
On Monday, Xi met Valentina Matviyenko, the speaker of the Federation Council — the Russian parliament’s upper house — at the Great Hall of the People, state broadcaster CCTV reported.
Xi said the development of relations between the two countries was “a strategic choice made by both countries based on the fundamental interests of their respective countries and peoples”, according to CCTV.
“Both sides also need to strengthen communication and collaboration within multilateral mechanisms such as the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and the BRICS countries, lead the correct direction of global governance reform, and safeguard the common interests of emerging market countries and developing countries,” the statement continued.
On Monday, Western leaders gathered in Lithuania’s capital ahead of a summit expected to present unity on Ukraine’s future membership of the NATO military alliance — a prospect Russia has reacted furiously to.
Beijing says it is a neutral party in the war, but its refusal to condemn the invasion has led many of Kyiv’s allies to accuse it of favouring Russia.
Matviyenko on Monday said the strategic partnership between Beijing and Moscow “has reached the highest level in history and continues to develop steadily”, according to CCTV.
She said a March visit by Xi to Moscow, where he met his counterpart Vladimir Putin, had “injected strong impetus into the further development of Russia-China relations”.
Xi said China was “willing to continue to work with Russia to develop a comprehensive strategic partnership of mutual assistance, deep integration, innovation, and inclusive cooperation in the new era”.