Putin Meets China’s Defense Minister, Praises Military Ties
- According to a summary of the meeting put out by China's defense ministry, the defense minister also said that China was ready to work with Russia
- Beijing said last week that Li would be going to Moscow to meet with defense officials, but they didn't say anything about him meeting with Putin.
Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, met with Li Shangfu, the defense minister of China, in Moscow. Both men praised the military partnership between Russia and China.
Less than a month had passed since Chinese President Xi Jinping’s three-day state visit to Moscow, where they met on Sunday.
Putin was seen shaking hands with Li and then sitting down at a table on video of the meeting. Sergei Shoigu, the Russian Minister of Defense, was also there.
Putin said at the start of the meeting, “We are actively working through our military departments. We regularly share useful information, work together in the area of military-technical cooperation, and hold joint exercises.”
He also said that the exercises had taken place in both the Far East and Europe, with ground, naval, and air troops taking part.
The Russian president said, “Without a doubt, this is another important area that strengthens the very trusting and strategic nature of our relationships.”
Russia and China have moved to improve their economic, political, and military ties since Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine in February 2022. They said they would work together “without limits.”
China hasn’t said anything bad about Russia’s military moves in Ukraine. Instead, it blames the US and NATO for making Russia do them. It has also tried to show that it is not taking sides in the Ukraine war. However, Washington has said that Beijing is considering selling weapons to Moscow, which Beijing has denied.
Li’s trip to Russia, which will last until April 19, is the first trip he has taken to another country since becoming defense minister a month ago.
“Our ties are very strong. They are stronger than the political and military allies of the Cold War… “They are very stable,” he said, and his words were translated and shown on Russian TV.
He also said that relations between Russia and China have “already begun a new era.”
“This is my first trip outside of China since I became the country’s defense minister. I chose Russia because I wanted to show how special and important our relationship is from a strategic point of view,” Li said.
According to a summary of the meeting put out by China’s defense ministry, the defense minister also said that China was ready to work with Russia to “further strengthen strategic communication between the two militaries.”
Beijing said last week that Li would be going to Moscow to meet with defense officials, but they didn’t say anything about him meeting with Putin.
Since 2018, the US has put sanctions on Li because he bought combat planes and equipment from Rosoboronexport, which is Russia’s major arms exporter.