Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov will today begin a two-day visit to Beijing at the invitation of his Chinese counterpart, Wang Yi.
Today’s visit comes immediately after the conclusion of talks between Foreign Minister Yi and US Secretary of State Antony Blinken in Alaska. On the agenda for Lavrov’s visit is bolstering Chinese-Russian bilateral ties and addressing international and regional issues of common concerns.
Expect today’s meetings to conclude with an agreement that signals Moscow’s and Beijing’s interest in furthering cooperation, coordinating on security affairs and reinforcing common positions within international organisations on matters concerning human rights, Iran and Myanmar. Beijing is interested in ensuring that President Joe Biden’s attempt to strengthen ties with the Quad and shift NATO priorities are met with a stronger Sino-Russian relationship. Likewise, China’s immediate turn to Moscow indicates that both will continue to sideline international criticism regarding their authoritarian tactics and human rights abuses. As such, it is likely we will see more support from Moscow for China’s crackdown in Hong Kong and Chinese support for Moscow over the poisoning of opposition leader Alexey Navalny. Further, a stronger union would provide benefit in cushioning any economic and political repercussions of these repressive governing tactics.