Russia and China have reportedly solidified a military partnership after Russian President Vladimir Putin met with Chinese Defense Minister Li Shangfu in Moscow over the weekend. Both parties expressed approval of military cooperation between the neighboring countries.
The recent development seems to run counter to French President Emmanuel Macron’s hopes when he visited Beijing earlier this month. Macron had urged Chinese President Xi Jinping to talk sense into Russia, hoping to reduce the escalating conflict in Ukraine.
Putin said: "We are working actively through our military departments, regularly exchange useful information, work together in the field of military-technical cooperation, and hold joint exercises.”
These exercises include ground, naval, and air forces, with Putin going on to say: “Undoubtedly, this is another crucial area that strengthens the extremely trusting, strategic nature of our relations.”
Though China has consistently denied sending weapons to Russia amid the war in Ukraine, The Japan Times reported that Ukrainian soldiers continue to find “different electronics” in material that they recover, with Vladyslav Vlasiuk, who helps the president’s chief of staff on sanctions policy, adding that the “trend is now that there is less Western-made components but more - not hard (to) guess which country - made components. Of course, China.”
However, NATO and the US have suggested that they have indicated no signs of Beijing supplying weapons to Moscow.
Shangfu reportedly told Putin during the meeting: "In recent times cooperation between Russia and China in the military and military-technical spheres has been developing very well.” He went on to note that this would beef up regional security, per the report.
It is still unclear just how much intel Russia and China were able to acquire after a 21-year-old leaked many classified Pentagon documents, many of which revealed the West’s dealings in Ukraine.Some of the influence seems to suggest that the US has its own soldiers directly combatting Russian soldiers, which constitutes war. Since Congress has not approved the move, the US is taking part in illegal combat.