China says mutual political trust with Russia has increased and Beijing is willing to work with Moscow to implement their strategic partnership and promote further progress in their relationship.
In a statement on Saturday, the Chinese foreign ministry said the political trust has deepened after Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu visited Russia this week and met with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
Zhaoxu also met with Russian Deputy Ministers of Foreign Affairs Andrey Rudenko and Sergey Vershinin during his visit on February 2 and 3.
The two sides exchanged views on bilateral and multilateral cooperation as well as international and regional issues of common concern, the statement said.
Lavrov said on Thursday that Moscow’s relations with China have no limits and, despite not being a formal military alliance, were of a much higher and broader nature.
The statement came in the wake of a rise in tensions between China and the US after a Chinese balloon flew over the airspace of the United States.
Washington has described it as a spy balloon, while China says it is an airship used for civilian meteorological and other scientific purposes.
The incident led to the postponement of Foreign Secretary Antony Blinken’s planned visit to China, which was scheduled to begin on Friday.
Nuclear sub talks among UK, US, Australia
On Friday, China “firmly” expressed its objection to further cooperation between the UK, the US, and Australia on nuclear submarines.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning said her government had asked the United States, Britain, and Australia to reconsider their decision on joint cooperation to build nuclear submarines to maintain regional security and world peace.
“China is gravely concerned about this and firmly objects to it,” the spokesperson said in response to a question that cited a media report saying British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s visit to the United States in March may yield announcements on more nuclear submarine cooperation.
Referring to a news report about Sunak’s upcoming visit to the US to present a plan to build a nuclear submarine, Mao said such a move would pose a serious threat of nuclear proliferation.
“China has repeatedly emphasized that the decision by the US, the UK, and Australia to carry out and continue to promote nuclear submarine cooperation has posed a serious risk of nuclear proliferation, intensified the arms race, and undermined regional peace and stability,” Mao said.
“We urge the US, the UK, and Australia to heed the voice of the international community, earnestly fulfill the obligation of nuclear non-proliferation, and revoke the decision on carrying out nuclear submarine cooperation, so as to maintain regional and global peace and security with concrete actions,” she added.
In September 2021, the US, UK, and Australia formed an alliance called AUKUS, whereby the US and UK would help Australia acquire nuclear submarines. China and many other countries have repeatedly expressed their concern over the controversial plans by the three states.