China backs Russian ‘national stability’ as diplomats meet

(Bloomberg) – China has said it supports Russia’s actions to maintain national stability, a day after Moscow defused the biggest threat to President Vladimir Putin’s regime.

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The brief statement from a Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, who described the weekend’s events as “Russia’s internal affair”, came after Foreign Minister Qin Gang met in Beijing Russian Deputy Foreign Minister Andrey Rudenko.

He elaborated on an earlier comment from Beijing that the couple had exchanged views on international and regional issues of mutual concern.

Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu also met with Rudenko on Sunday, pledging to uphold the countries’ common interests in the face of a “complex and bleak” international environment.

Mutual political trust between Beijing and Moscow has grown under Putin and President Xi Jinping, China’s Foreign Ministry said, citing Ma in a separate statement.

Read more: Silence covers the Kremlin after the Russian mutiny against Putin

In a televised broadcast to the nation on Saturday, Putin spoke of “treason” as militia members loyal to Wagner Group leader Yevgeny Prigozhin marched north towards Moscow. As part of a deal to end the uprising on Sunday night, the Russian president guaranteed that Prigozhin would be allowed to leave for Belarus and that authorities would drop criminal mutiny charges against him and his fighters, according to the Kremlin.

“The Chinese side expressed support for the Russian leadership’s efforts to stabilize the situation in the country following the events of June 24 and reaffirmed its interest in strengthening Russia’s cohesion and pursuit of prosperity,” the ministry said. Russian Foreign Affairs in a statement. on its website.

The ministry said Rudenko was on a work trip and the consultations had been scheduled.

Blinken says Wagner uprising a ‘direct challenge’ to Putin

The weekend’s events in Russia were covered by Chinese state media, with stories carried by People’s Daily and China Central Television. The Global Times published an article by former editor Hu Xijin analyzing the scenarios the uprising could lead to, including regime change. Xi has close ties with Putin and visited him in Moscow in March.

The official Xinhua news agency said in an article in Chinese that “Russian representatives from all regions of the country, dignitaries and religious leaders strongly condemned the incident and made it clear that they stand with the Russian Federal Government, stability and peace”. .”

The topic was also a hot topic on Chinese social media, with users sharing screenshots of the discussions on Twitter. Some have compared Prigozhin’s movements to the An Lushan Rebellion which began in 755 AD, when a disgruntled general favored by the emperor used his troops to capture the eastern capital and proclaim himself emperor. Although the rebellion ultimately failed, it led to a weakening of the Tang dynasty.

A Weibo account run by part of the People’s Liberation Army posted a message from Chinese national radio about how Mao Zedong reorganized the army in 1927 – an event that secured the party absolute leadership over the army.

–With the help of Jing Li and Xiao Zibang.

(Updates with comments from Xinhua News Agency.)

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