Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Gen. Zhang Youxia, China’s second-ranking military official, to discuss expanding cooperation between Russia and China on military satellites and prospective defense technologies. Putin emphasized the importance of developing closer military links, particularly in high-tech spheres, to ensure the strategic security of both countries. He clarified that Russia and China are not building any military alliances based on Cold War patterns but stressed that their cooperation plays a crucial role in stabilizing the international situation.
This meeting follows previous statements by Putin, in which he mentioned that Russia has been sharing highly sensitive military technologies with China to bolster its defense capability. In October 2019, Putin revealed that Russia was assisting China in developing an early warning system for ballistic missile launches, a system that only Russia and the U.S. possessed.
China has declared a “no-limits” friendship with Russia, denouncing Western sanctions against Moscow and accusing NATO and the U.S. of provoking Russia’s military action in Ukraine. Russia, in turn, has expressed support for Beijing on issues related to Taiwan.
The personal ties between Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping have contributed to the development of a “strategic partnership” between the two countries. They have engaged in joint military exercises, including naval drills and patrols by long-range bombers over the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea. Ground forces from both countries have also participated in joint drills on each other’s territories.
Putin expressed concerns about NATO’s attempts to expand its reach to the Asia-Pacific region, describing it as an effort to go beyond its geographic sphere of influence. He emphasized that Russia and China are responding in a calm and balanced manner and working together to strengthen their security through joint air force and navy drills.
Gen. Zhang praised Russia for its resilience against Western pressure, acknowledging that Russia under Putin’s leadership remains firm despite sanctions. He described the relations between Russia and China as being at their highest level in the new epoch and emphasized their mutual support on fundamental interests and key concerns.
The Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu also highlighted the model of strategic trust and mutually beneficial cooperation between Russia and China. He emphasized that their defense ties are not aimed at third countries but rather set an example of strategic interaction based on trust and respect. Shoigu invited Zhang to discuss further steps to expand cooperation in defense and international issues.