Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin will visit China for trade talks next week and will meet with his Chinese counterpart Li Qiang and Chinese President Xi Jinping, the Russian government announced Friday.
“Topical issues of Russian-Chinese cooperation in the trade and economic sphere will be considered. Particular attention is to be paid to interaction in industry, energy, transport infrastructure, agriculture and other areas,” the Russian government said in a statement.
Russia’s economy has grown increasingly dependent on China following Western sanctions against Moscow. China announced on May 4 that Vladivostok, Russia’s main port in the Far East, will become a transit port for Chinese domestic goods moving from landlocked Jilin Province on the Sino-Russian border to the south of China. The new arrangement will take effect on June 1.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said Friday that there is “strong resilience, sufficient potential and large space for cooperation between the two countries.”
Mishustin is due to be in China from Tuesday to Wednesday.
Some context: Much has been made of the growing ties between Beijing and Moscow, accelerated since the start of the war in Ukraine. But, well over a year since the beginning of the conflict, the nature and form of this new relationship is still unclear.
While Western allies have rushed to offer support to Ukraine – providing billions of dollars in military aid – China has not shown the same largesse toward Russia, its supposed ally. The United States has not seen evidence that China has provided systemic material support to the Kremlin, leading Russian President Vladimir Putin to have to turn to North Korea and Iran in search of military hardware.