Senior Chinese general Zhang Youxia (right) meets Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow. Photo/Sergei Bobylev/TASS/kremlin.ru
MOSCOW – A senior Chinese general met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Wednesday (8/11/2023). The visit by Beijing’s top military official comes as the two countries continue to strengthen military ties.
The senior Beijing general is Zhang Youxia, Deputy Chairman of China’s Central Military Commission.
Putin welcomed General Zhang’s visit by praising the strengthening of military ties between the two countries. Those ties have strengthened since last year, as Russia sought allies amid protracted attacks on Ukraine.
“Our contacts in the field of military and military technology are becoming increasingly important,” Putin told Zhang, as quoted by AFP.
In televised remarks, Putin said Moscow and Beijing were not building a Cold War-style “military alliance,” but said cooperation between the two was a serious factor stabilizing the global situation.
He said the United States was increasing its military presence in the Asia-Pacific region. “Russia and China will react calmly, cautiously and by strengthening our defense capabilities,” he said.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu earlier welcomed Zhang and the Chinese military delegation at a red carpet ceremony in the Russian capital.
Zhang told Putin he came to Russia to further strengthen military-technical cooperation.
His visit comes three weeks after Putin visited Beijing on a rare overseas trip.
Beijing has been Russia’s main political and economic ally amid Moscow’s isolation on the world stage, and Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping have shown unity in standing up to the West.
The two countries signed a “no borders” strategic partnership just days before Russia launched its attack on Ukraine last February, and have since carried out several rounds of joint military drills.