BEIJING – China praised comments by Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, who rebuffed rumors that Beijing plans to annex Siberia and the Russian Far East region.
The eulogy was made by Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Geng Shuang on Wednesday.
In an interview with the Russian newspaper Arguments and Facts, in response to a question, Lavrov denied that the large presence of Chinese citizens in Siberia and the Far East meant that China intended to annex the region.
Lavrov cited the treaty of good neighborliness and cooperation between countries that was signed in 2001, stating that the document is a safeguard of the commitment of friendship between Russia and China.
“China appreciates immensely the positive and clear comments of Minister Sergei Lavrov on bilateral relations between our countries. In recent years, under the strategic guidance of our country’s leaders, Russia-China relations have developed significantly and reached new heights in all spheres,” Geng said in a statement.
Geng mentioned it as the 2001 treaty, stating that since its signing, Russia and China maintain a strong relationship built on trust and mutual support.
The spokesman added that any attempt to cause disagreement between the two countries is futile and that both will continue to support each other.
Russia and China cooperate in various areas and at the highest levels. China’s President Xi Jinping recently paid an official visit to Russia from June 5 to 7, during which he met with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
At that time, Xi also attended the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum as guest of honor. China and Russia have signed a total of 23 bilateral agreements covering the areas of economy, investment and education.
One such example is when in early June, Russian Finance Minister Anton Siluanov and Chinese People’s Bank governor Yi Gang signed an agreement on the creation of a new payment system , which will become a “gateway to the foundation of Russian and Chinese analogue of SWIFT” – an international interbank financial data transmission system.
According to Dembinskaya, the payments system in national currencies is expected to be operational by the end of the year, covering first the largest Russian oil and gas companies as well as agricultural producers.