Vladimir Putin says Russia-China ties at ‘highest level in history’ during launch of nuclear projects

Vladimir Putin

Moscow-Beijing relations have reached their “highest level in history”, Russian President Vladimir Putin says.

Mr Putin made the statement in a video conference with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping during which the leaders launched the construction of Russian-designed reactors at China’s Tianwan and Xudapu nuclear power plants.

“Russian and Chinese professionals are setting in motion a truly signature, flagship joint project,” Mr Putin said, describing the technology as “powerful, state-of-the-art, Russian-made nuclear reactors compliant with all the safety regulations and the highest of ecological standards”.

“We can say that Russian-Chinese relations have reached the highest level in history,” he added.

Vladimir Putin in videoconference
Russian President Vladimir Putin takes part in the virtual unveiling with Chinese President Xi Jinping (top right of computer screen).(Sergei Ilyin, Sputnik, Kremlin Pool Photo via AP)

He said the projects were due to be completed by 2026 and 2028 and make “a great contribution … to maintaining [China’s] energy security”.

China has been seeking to reduce its overwhelming reliance on coal for electricity.

Russia and China closely aligned

Mr Putin and Mr Xi have developed increasingly close ties, based in part on their shared identities as autocratic leaders who repress all political opposition.

At the same time, Moscow and Beijing have closely aligned their foreign policies, particularly when it comes to opposing US calls for political liberalisation and humanitarian interventions.

Both leaders have been highly critical of American foreign policy, particularly in the Middle East, and are the leading voices in the Shanghai Cooperation Organization that seeks to restrain US influence in Central Asia.

China is also a key market for Russian oil and gas, and has in the past made major purchases of Russian warplanes and other military technology. Russia is a major customer for Chinese machinery and consumer goods, although its sanctions-hit economy has limited its purchases.

Vladimir Putin says Russia-China ties at ‘highest level in history’ during launch of nuclear projects – ABC News Australia

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