Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov arrived in China on Monday ahead of talks with his Chinese counterpart Wang Yi, according to Beijing’s foreign ministry.
Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying said Monday at a regular press briefing Lavrov is in China for two days of talks with top Chinese officials. Lavrov and Wang are to meet in Guilin, a scenic town and one of China’s best-known tourist attractions, reports said.
Wang is meeting with Russia’s top diplomat after a tense exchange with U.S. officials in Alaska. The first face-to-face meeting under U.S. President Jose Biden ended without a joint statement.
On Monday Hua denied the Chinese and Russian governments were teaming up as a check against the United States, unlike the “cliques with hidden conspiracies.”
“China and Russia, standing shoulder to shoulder with close cooperation and firm opposition to hegemony and bullying, have been a pillar of world peace and stability,” Hua said, according to Xinhua.
The Chinese spokeswoman also claimed the United States “raises the flags of democracy and freedom” while “interfering with the internal affairs of other countries, causing many problems.”
“China and Russia will firmly oppose such acts of hegemony, and will strengthen communication and cooperation in the matter,” Hua said, without providing details.
Yang Jin, an analyst at the Institute of Russian, Eastern European and Central Asian Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the United States is making the “same mistake” as the former Soviet Union.
“The Soviet Union tried to confront China and the United States at the same time, causing it to fail and eventually collapse,” Yang said, according to state tabloid Global Times.
The United States has condemned widespread human rights violations in Hong Kong and in Xinjiang. China has denied wrongdoing.
Hong Kong activists who tried to flee to Taiwan last year are being repatriated to Hong Kong after a period of detention in Shenzhen on the Chinese mainland.
Hong Kong’s RTHK reported Monday eight of the activists are to be repatriated to Hong Kong after being released from a Chinese jail. SOVEREIGNPH