Friday, July 12, 2024

China throws support behind Russia after Wagner insurrection

China has voiced support for Russia after a short-lived insurrection posed the gravest challenge to the 23-year rule of President Vladimir Putin of Russia, a close partner of Chinese leader Xi Jinping in his push “for a new world order and strategic alignment against the US.”

A day after Wagner mercenary fighters turned back from their march toward Moscow, ending a brief and chaotic uprising by warlord Yevgeny Prigozhin, Beijing released its first comment on what Putin had called an “armed rebellion.”

“This is Russia’s internal affair,” a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said in a terse statement posted online late on Sunday night.

“As Russia’s friendly neighbor and comprehensive strategic partner of coordination for the new era, China supports Russia in maintaining national stability and achieving development and prosperity,” it added.

Beijing’s carefully crafted public comment came well after the brief mutiny had dissipated, with Prigozhin agreeing on Saturday to pull back his fighters in a deal with the Kremlin that would reportedly see him enter into exile in Belarus.

It also came after Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko flew to Beijing to meet with Chinese officials on Sunday, where the two sides reaffirmed their close partnership and political trust.

China’s Foreign Minister Qin Gang and Rudenko exchanged views on “Sino-Russian relations and international and regional issues of common concern,” the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a one-line statement posted on its website, with a photo showing the pair walking side by side while smiling.

Russia’s Foreign Ministry announced that Rudenko also held “scheduled consultations” with China’s Deputy Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu.

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