China's "solid as rock" relationship with Russia

China and Russia are getting cozier by the day.

China's "solid as rock" relationship with Russia
Russia's President Vladimir Putin shakes hands with China's Director of the Office of the Central Foreign Affairs Commission Wang Yi during a meeting in Moscow, Russia February 22, 2023. Sputnik/Anton Novoderezhkin/Pool via REUTERS

The backstory: The US-China relationship has been on the rocks, and it's not looking good, especially with the recent incident involving a suspected Chinese spy balloon entering US airspace.

But China and Russia are getting cozier by the day. It's been a year since leaders from both sides declared a "no-limits" friendship, and their mutual disdain for the US is only making it stronger. Even though Russia invaded Ukraine over a year ago, China has kind of stuck by Russia and hasn't condemned the invasion, although it has urged for a peaceful resolution. This raises some red flags for Western countries. And some folks at last week's security conference in Germany were a bit uneasy about Xi and Putin's "no-limits" partnership.

More recently: Rumor has it that President Xi of China is heading to Moscow for peace talks, where he'll probably remind everyone about the dangers of playing with nuclear weapons. But on the other hand, China's new Foreign Minister, Qin Gang, has a "Three Nos" policy, which means no alliances, no confrontation and no third-party targeting when it comes to the Russia-China relationship.

The development: On Tuesday, China's top diplomat, Wang Yi, spoke highly of the rock-solid relationship between China and Russia. While China says it's neutral in the ongoing Ukraine conflict, Wang emphasized the need for the two countries to collaborate to safeguard their national interests. Wang also met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov to reject the US and its allies, committing to promoting democracy and a multipolar world while standing against any form of solo strong-arming.

Key comments:

​​“China is deeply worried about the escalation of the Ukraine conflict and it possibly spiraling out of control,” said Foreign Minister Qin Gang on Tuesday.

“We do not add fuel to the fire, and we’re against reaping benefits from this crisis,” said Wang at the Munich Security Conference on Saturday. “Some forces might not want to see peace talks to materialize. They don’t care about the life and death of Ukrainians, nor the harm on Europe. They might have strategic goals larger than Ukraine itself. This warfare must not continue.”

“We need more proof that China isn’t working with Russia, and we aren’t seeing that now,” said Ursula Von der Leyen, the European Commission president, to CNN.

“The concern that we have now is based on information we have that they’re considering providing lethal support, and we’ve made very clear to them that that would cause a serious problem for us and in our relationship,” said Antony Blinken, US Secretary of State on CBS.