MOSCOW- Chinese State Councilor and Minister of National Defense Li Shangfu on Tuesday attended the 11th Moscow Conference on International Security in Moscow, where he delivered a speech and lauded China-Russia military relations as a model of non-aligned, non-confrontational cooperation that does not target any third party.
Open and transparent military cooperation between China and Russia is conducive to peace and stability around the world, experts said.
Li said that the comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era has maintained steady development, as the two countries’ military relations have set a model in non-alignment, non-confrontational cooperation that does not target any third party, Russian news agency Sputnik reported on Tuesday.
China is ready to conduct joint exercises and drills with all countries to search for a wider area of exercises, strengthen international cooperation on arms control and nuclear non-proliferation, as well as boost international cooperation in space, bio-security, artificial intelligence technologies and other new challenges beyond traditional security fields, Li said.
Li stressed that playing with fire on the Taiwan question or attempting to use the Taiwan question to contain China is doomed to fail.
Organized by the Russian Defense Ministry, the theme of the security conference is the establishment of cooperation in the new realities arising in the process of establishing a multipolar world order, Russian news agency Tass reported on Tuesday.
Western media has been hyping the military cooperation between China and Russia, with the Associated Press claiming in a report on Monday that “Li’s attendance at the conference further underscores the drive by China and Russia to align their foreign policies in a bid to undermine the Western-led liberal-democratic world order.”
There is nothing wrong with China-Russia cooperation, and the West’s opposition to it reflects the hegemonic thinking of the West and their forcing of other countries to take sides, Cui Heng, an assistant research fellow from the Center for Russian Studies of East China Normal University, told the Global Times on Tuesday
Supporting Russia in cooperation is not equal to being anti-West, Cui said.
Song Zhongping, a Chinese military expert and TV commentator, told the Global Times that China and Russia both advocate a multipolar world and multilateralism.
Enhancing strategic cooperation is a key embodiment of China and Russia’s safeguarding of regional and world peace and stability, Song said.
“Imagine what the world would be like if there were no non-Western powers like China and Russia to balance Western power – what happened in Iraq, Libya and Syria would be replicated around the world,” Cui said.
On the Ukraine conflict, analysts said that exchanges and communication between China and Russia are conducive to China’s efforts to promoting peace talks.
Despite arms trading being normal between two sovereign states, China has showed restraint and has not supplied weapons to the conflict, Cui said, noting that some Western countries and their media used public opinion tools to stigmatize normal military cooperation between China and Russia.
China and Russia have many aspects in military cooperation, including joint military exercises, joint strategic patrols, and talent cultivation as well as research and development, another Chinese military expert who requested anonymity told the Global Times on Tuesday.
In July, the Chinese and Russian navies carried out the Northern/Interaction-2023 joint exercises in the Sea of Japan aimed at safeguarding the security of strategic maritime routes, before embarking on the two countries’ third joint naval patrol that saw both sides’ warships sail into West and North Pacific waters. US media reported that the China-Russia joint flotilla had reached international waters near Alaska and called the voyage “highly provocative,” despite a statement from the Chinese Defense Ministry released beforehand stating that the operation was not targeted against any third party and was not related to any international or regional situation.
The cooperation between the Chinese and Russian militaries is open and transparent and aims to jointly safeguard international fairness and justice as well as maintain world and regional security and stability, said Senior Colonel Wu Qian, spokesperson for China’s Ministry of National Defense, at a press briefing on Monday.
Li’s attendance at the security conference marks his second visit to Russia this year. In April, Li made Moscow his first foreign visit destination since his appointment as defense minister, in a move to demonstrate the high level of development of China-Russia relations as well as the firm determination to strengthen the strategic cooperation of the two countries’ armed forces.
The frequent military interaction and close high-level exchanges between China and Russia reflect a high degree of strategic mutual trust, which is the result of the strategic cooperative relationship between China and Russia over the past two decades, Cui said.
After the conference, Li is scheduled to meet with leaders of defense authorities of Russia and other countries and visit Belarus, where he will meet and hold talks with leaders of the Belarusian state and military and visit Belarusian military units before wrapping up the trip on Saturday.