SHANGHAI: China said on Saturday that mutual political trust with Russia has been deepened after Vice Foreign Minister Ma Zhaoxu visited the country this week and met Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.
The foreign ministry said in its statement that China will work with Russia to implement their strategic partnership and promote further progress in their relationship.
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin announced a strategic partnership in Moscow a year ago aimed at countering the influence of the United States and they said they would have no forbidden areas of cooperation.
Ma also met with Russia's Deputy Foreign Ministers Andrey Rudenko and Sergey Vershinin during his Feb 2 to Feb 3 visit, the statement said. He exchanged views on bilateral and multilateral cooperation as well as international and regional issues of common concern during his meetings.
The statement comes on the heels of heightened tension between China and the United States after the flight of a Chinese balloon over US airspace. Washington has described it as a spy balloon, while China says it is an airship used for civilian meteorological and other scientific purposes.
The uproar has resulted in a postponement of a visit by Secretary of State Antony Blinken to China, which had been expected to start on Friday.
The foreign ministry statement about Ma's visit did not mention Ukraine, where Russia has waged a military operation for nearly a year. China has refrained from condemning it or calling it an invasion. Foreign Minister Lavrov said on Thursday that Moscow's relations with China had no limits and were of a much higher and broader nature despite not being a formal military alliance.