China says it will work with Russia to promote ‘real democracy’

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China’s top diplomat said Beijing will work with Moscow to promote “real democracy,” reaffirming his country’s ties with Russia.

“China is willing to work together with Russia and the global community to promote real democracy based on nations’ own conditions,” Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said Wednesday via video link at a China-Russia think tank summit, according to a government statement.

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The event was attended by his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov.

Wang added that “monopolizing the definition of democracy and human rights” to influence other nations was a tactic “doomed to fail,” in a veiled swipe at the United States, which has led a global chorus of condemnation against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Since then, Beijing has sought to portray itself as neutral: Issuing statements supporting Ukraine’s sovereignty and expressing concern about civilian casualties, while supporting President Vladimir Putin at the United Nations and blaming the US for provoking the war by encouraging the expansion of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Still, President Xi Jinping declared a “no limits friendship” with Putin on the eve of the invasion, and hasn’t spoken with Ukraine leader Volodymyr Zelenskiy since the war began.

Without referencing Putin’s ongoing military campaign, Wang said China and Russia should “continue to make important contributions” to global governance as permanent members of the United Nations Security Council.

Global and regional security should not be achieved through “strengthening military groups” and “fragmenting supply chains,” he added in an apparent reference to both the eastward expansion of the NATO and sanctions imposed by the West on Russia since its February invasion.

“China and Russia should continue to join hands with peace-loving countries in the world to safeguard the global order with the UN at its core and based on international laws,” Wang added.

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