Why the curator of Chinese diplomacy came to Russia


Officially, the Chinese guest’s trip was initiated at the invitation of Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev. The purpose of the visit is to hold another round of strategic consultations on security issues.

According to the official report on the meeting between Wang Yi and Patrushev, the two sides exchanged views on a wide range of major international issues. Nikolai Patrushev and Wang Yi confirmed that relations between Moscow and Beijing are based on the principles of respect, non-interference in each other’s internal affairs, and mutual support in the international arena. It was noted that Washington’s creation of new blocs and dividing lines in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as strengthening NATO’s presence in Asia and the Pacific is aimed at undermining the established security system in the region.

«The situation on the Korean Peninsula and the situation around Ukraine were also considered», the Security Council said. Patrushev reiterated Russia’s principled position of full support for China on the Taiwan, Hong Kong and Xinjiang issues.

In Nikolai Patrushev’s opinion, further deepening of Russian-Chinese coordination and cooperation in the international arena is of particular importance in the context of the collective Western campaign of double deterrence against Russia and China.

As for the closed part of the talks, according to a leak from the Security Council, special attention was paid to joint countering interference in the internal affairs of sovereign states. In addition, Russian-Chinese military and military-technical cooperation was discussed. The Ukrainian problem must have been at the center of the conversation. Wang Yi came to Moscow after extensive talks in Malta with Jake Sullivan, U.S. Assistant to the President for National Security. They mainly discussed issues of U.S.-China relations, how to manage the competition between the two countries, how to avoid bringing the matter to conflict, and how to reduce tensions.

But Ukraine was also one of the topics. Washington demands that Beijing «get on the right side of history» or at least not help Russia in any way. Here, Wang Yi never tires of impressing on the Americans (at least, that’s what the official reports on the talks say) that China-Russia relations are not subject to the influence of third forces, and that the countries have the right to determine what to do on their own. Western media claim that China is intensifying its mediation on Ukraine and is trying hard to find ways to resolve the conflict. It is possible that something from Wang Yi’s Maltese dossier was revealed during the talks with Patrushev. However, it is clear that China will not push Moscow on this issue, advancing its own line. The West’s defeat in Ukraine is by and large in the interests of both Russia and China.

Characteristically, after the strategic bilateral security consultations, Patrushev and Wang Yi held another trilateral one. But now in the «Russia-China-Mongolia» format. At this stage, Secretary of the National Security Council of Mongolia Jadambyn Enkhbayar joined them. One cannot rule out that this format may be expanded given the recent visit of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to Russia. Why not?

Wang Yi’s visit coincides with numerous important international events, including on the eve of the UN General Assembly session, where the United States will try to sway the structure and bring its allies into the Security Council. Coordination of Moscow’s and Beijing’s actions in the UN, as well as in other international affairs, has traditionally been and will continue to be the most important area of Russian diplomacy. Therefore, in the first part of his stay in Moscow, Wang Yi held extensive consultations with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov and his colleagues. As was reported on Smolenskaya Square, special attention was paid to strengthening cooperation in the international arena and coordination of work within the UN, BRICS, SCO, G20, APEC and other organizations.

Curiously, the Chinese side usually refers to Wang Yi as the head of the International Affairs Office of the CCP Central Committee and a member of the Political Bureau of the CCP Central Committee, omitting another of his roles — foreign minister. After the departure of former Foreign Minister Qing Gang, Wang Yi combines these two positions. In fact, he is entrusted with the main role in the implementation of foreign policy of the CCP, the Chinese state and Chinese President Xi Jinping. Accordingly, he has the authority to make serious decisions and assume responsibility.

Therefore, the focus of Wang Yi’s visit and all his talks was on preparations for the Russian President’s visit to China.

«In October, we look forward to substantive bilateral talks between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing as part of the Russian head of state’s participation in the events of the One Belt, One Road (OBOR) international forum», the Secretary of the Security Council announced the new summit.

The details of this trip have not been disclosed yet, but it is already clear that in addition to participation in the events of the OBOR, the heads of the two countries will hold extensive talks. The nuances of the preparation of these talks, as well as of Vladimir Putin’s trip itself, were surely discussed with both Patrushev and Lavrov. Although China has not signed the statute of the International Criminal Court, there should be no surprises in a visit of this level. After all these detailed discussions, Wang Yi will surely meet with Vladimir Putin, as it usually happens during such important visits. And this will no longer be a detailed conversation, but rather a demonstration of the highest level of cooperation between Russia and China and the policy priorities of the two countries.

In fact, Chinese President Xi Jinping refused to hold talks with his American counterpart, which Biden had hoped for on the margins of the G20 summit. The Chinese leader simply did not go there, at the same time demonstrating his attitude to this organization. By the way, the last meeting between US President Joe Biden and his Chinese counterpart took place on the margins of the G20 summit in Indonesia in November 2022. In May 2023, Biden said that the next meeting with Xi is possible, but the exact dates are still unknown. «Sooner or later», he noted. It turns out to be later. At least twice as late as with Vladimir Putin, whose upcoming talks will be the second this year.