The Chinese delegation has arrived to the seventh Moscow International Security Conference. The purpose of the visit is to show the close ties between Russia and China and express their common position on international issues, said General Wei Fenghe, Chinese Minister of National Defense, at Tuesday’s meeting with Russian Defense Minister Sergey Shoigu. "I am visiting Russia as a new defense minister of China to show the world a high level of development of our bilateral relations and firm determination of our Armed Forces to strengthen strategic cooperation. Second, to support the Russian side in organizing the Moscow International Security Conference the Chinese side has come to show Americans the close ties between the Armed Forces of China and Russia, especially in this situation. We’ve come to support you," Wei Fenghe said.
The support of Beijing is particularly important for Moscow with regard to international tensions and the growing pressure on Russia following the Salisbury incident. The Spokesman for the Chinese Foreign Ministry Geng Shuang called on all involved parties to abandon their Cold War mentality regarding the poisoning of Skripal in the UK. "China believes that the parties should find the truth about the Skripal case. In the face of many global challenges, the parties must abandon the Cold War mentality, work together to promote international peace and security," Shuang said at a briefing.
The diplomat said Russia has taken equally powerful measures in response to the expulsion of its diplomats from the US and a number of European countries. "We know that the relevant parties have yet to reach a conclusion on the Skripal incident that all sides find acceptable, and in response to the collective actions by some countries and organizations to expel Russian diplomats, the Russian side has taken countermeasures accordingly," Shuang stressed.
While Beijing's position on the Skripal case is formally neutral, the statement of the Chinese Foreign Ministry shows that China is likely to share Russia’s point of view. Beijing as well as Moscow is very interested in establishing the truth about Salisbury incident and wants to base the conclusions on the facts rather than on unsubstantiated allegations against Russia. Moreover, Gary Aitkenhead, chief executive of the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL) at Porton Down, said that scientists from Porton Down have not been able to establish where the novichok nerve agent used to poison Sergei and Yulia Skripal was made and they were not yet able to prove it was made in Russia.
Western countries are not satisfied with China’s position on Salisbury incident and provocations against Russia. For London, it would be more convenient if Beijing expelled Russian diplomats. However, the China demonstrated its commitment to the alliance with Russia, which has long troubled the West, because it becomes a strong power against U.S. hegemony. China took a clear position on the Skripal case and demanded an explanation of Britain’s accusations against Russia. "China maintains that the relevant parties shall sort out the facts behind the Skripal incident at an early date and properly resolve disputes based on mutual respect and equal-footed consultation,” Shuang stressed. In difficult moments like this the strength of partnership and the trust between the allies are tested, even though the UK is trying to break up Russia and China by resorting to "open lies and disinformation".