Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and Premier of the Chinese State Council Li Kequiang confer virtually today. Mishustin and Li
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin and Premier of the Chinese State Council Li Kequiang confer virtually today.
Mishustin and Li are expected to discuss methods to promote bilateral cooperation, particularly in economic areas like investment and energy. The meeting comes following last month’s G20 summit in Indonesia where member-leaders released a joint communique condemning the war in Ukraine. G20 member constituencies include Russia, the US, China and the EU.
Despite the ramifications of the Russian invasion of Ukraine on the global economy, do not expect the ministers to discuss the war directly or release a substantive statement on it. China has to date taken a cautious position on the conflict, Chinese President Xi Jinping refraining from calling the war a “war” at the G20 summit—instead referring to it as a “crisis” or “issue.” Indeed, rather than impose sanctions or condemn Russian aggression, Beijing has merely called for a ceasefire and urged Russia and NATO to refrain from using nuclear weapons. Expect China to continue to maintain this soft line in the medium term, with Russia using the benefits of bilateral economic cooperation to facilitate Chinese efforts to avoid taking a harder, more condemning position on the war.