Russia’s sovereign wealth fund said Friday the country was enjoying its best-ever relationship with China.
While Moscow’s ties with Bejing have historically been benign, those comments constitute a reiteration of the two countries’ strong alliance — at a time of heightened uncertainty and simmering tensions between them and the United States.
“China is definitely a very strategic partner for Russia and we have the best relationship in the history of Russia (and) China right now,” said Kirill Dmitriev, CEO of the Russian Direct Investment Fund.
“We have a Russia-China investment fund, which is a partnership between us and (sovereign wealth fund) China Investment Corporation. And today … we are announcing our participation in NIO,” a China-based electric vehicle joint venture, Dmitriev added.
In April, the Kremlin said relations between Moscow and Washington were “in their worst period since the end of the Cold War,” and Russian President Vladimir Putin compared U.S. accusations of a Kremlin-led chemical attack in Syria to its justification of the 2003 Iraq invasion.
Over the past year, both Russia and China have been subjects of reproach by President Donald Trump for various reasons, including not doing enough to deal with rogue state North Korea as it seeks to build up a nuclear arsenal.
Trump, speaking in Beijing on his tour of Asia, again bemoaned the burgeoning U.S.-China trade deficit on Thursday, saying it arose from the Asian giant’s unfair trade practices. He said that the U.S. should look to address “access, forced technology transfer and the theft of intellectual property.”
Trump quickly added, however, that he did not blame Beijing for “taking advantage” of the U.S. He also described his relationship with Chinese President Xi Jinping as being “excellent.”
The Russian administration said Thursday that Trump and Putin are likely to meet on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Corporation leaders’ meeting, an economic forum which opens in Danang, Vietnam on Friday.
But the White House said Friday that the meeting will not take place due to scheduling conflicts, Reuters reported. Later in the morning, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Moscow had been receiving contradictory signals over whether such a meeting would take place.