By Chris King •
Published: 17 Apr 2023 • 0:32
Image of Vladimir Putin meeting with the Chinese Minister of Defence.
Credit: Russian Mod on Telegram
As reported by the press service of the Kremlin this Sunday, April 16, Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomed China’s Minister of Defence Li Shangfu to Moscow.
The Chinese general is in Russia on an official visit from April 16 to 19 April, his first trip abroad since landing his new job in March. Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu was also in attendance at the meeting where the main topics were said to be global security issues and military cooperation between Moscow and Beijing.
“Across the military departments, we are just as active, regularly exchanging information useful to us, cooperating in the field of military-technical cooperation, conducting joint exercises, moreover, at different theatres – in the Far East region, in Europe, at sea, on land, and in the air”, Putin reportedly said at the meeting.
He stressed that such a partnership strengthened the strategic nature of relations between the two countries. The Russian leader recalled that cooperation between the military departments was also discussed during the recent visit to Moscow by Chinese President Xi Jinping.
During the conversation with Putin, Li Shangfu explained why he chose Russia as the first country for an official visit. “After I took the post of Minister of Defence of the People’s Republic of China, this is my first visit abroad. I specifically chose Russia for this in order to emphasise the special nature and strategic importance of our bilateral relations”.
According to Li, cooperation between China and Russia in the military-technical field is developing positively and making a significant contribution to both regional and global security.
The general noted that Beijing is ready to continue partnering with Moscow for the prosperity of the whole world, despite the fact that the economic recovery after the pandemic is very slow, as reported by gazeta.ru.
“The world is very restless, peaceful relations between countries are in great demand. Cooperation with Russia is developing at all levels, and we will continue such cooperation for the development and prosperity of the whole world”. Li said.
Relations between Russia and China are currently superior to the military-political alliances of the Cold War he suggested. The general noted that they are built on the principles of non-alignment, in connection with which they are very stable. Li also said that all people in China know that Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping have a strong friendship.
Prior to his appointment as Minister of Defence, Li Shangfu headed the Department of Training and Supply of the Central Military Council of China for five years. Before that, he was the deputy commander of the Strategic Support Forces of the Chinese army, and earlier the director of the Xichang Cosmodrome.
In 2018, the United States imposed sanctions against the department headed by the general and against him personally because of military cooperation with Moscow. The reason for the restrictions was the purchase by Beijing of Russian Su-35 fighters and S-400 systems.
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Originally from Wales, Chris spent years on the Costa del Sol before moving to the Algarve where he is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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