A senior Chinese diplomat has said that China will continue to strengthen its strategic ties with Russia despite growing concerns over war crimes in Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine, reports Bloomberg.
Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng called for deepening ties in a range of fields during a meeting on Monday in Beijing with Russian envoy Andrey Ivanovich Denisov, according to a Chinese Foreign Ministry statement.
He said the relationship between the two countries remains solid noting a nearly 30% jump in trade during the first three months of 2022, which demonstrates "the great resilience and internal dynamism of bilateral cooperation."
"No matter how the international landscape may change, China will continue to strengthen strategic coordination with Russia for win-win cooperation, jointly safeguard the common interests of the two countries and promote the building of a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind," Le said in the statement released late on Tuesday.
Denisov said Russia regards relations with China as a "diplomatic priority," the statement said.
While bilateral trade did grow in the first quarter, much of that was before the invasion of Ukraine, with Chinese exports to Russia slumping in March to the lowest level since mid-2020, according to data released last week.
The increasing sanctions on Russia by many nations, the drop in the Russian currency and US efforts to stop Russia from using the dollar probably pushed Chinese firms to hold back on exports.