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Financial Times: Russia and China Strengthen Military Cooperation

China and Russia agreed to strengthen bilateral military cooperation and conduct joint naval exercises to counter US influence in the Asia-Pacific region, the Financial Times writes.

During his visit to Beijing, where he met with his colleague and Prime Minister Li Keqiang, Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu announced that both sides had expressed common concern about the US attempts to increase its military-political influence in the Asia-Pacific region. Shoigu announced the intention of the Russian Federation and China to form a system of regional collective security, reminds the newspaper.

His deputy, Anatoly Antonov, spoke about the obvious connection between the recent unrest in Hong Kong and the "epidemic of color revolutions", which no country can feel insured against today. He stressed that Russia and China must work together to meet these new security challenges for both states.

The parties agreed to hold joint naval exercises next spring in the Mediterranean and then in the Pacific.

Against the background of the Ukrainian crisis, Beijing said that Sino-Russian relations are now better than they ever were, the newspaper writes. Russia, under pressure from the West, is seeking closer relations with China, China welcomes these attempts.

However, both Russia and China are still afraid to converge too closely because of a long history of mutual distrust, the newspaper writes, citing observation data from Chinese and Western experts. Despite all the talk of close military ties, Russia still refuses to sell China's most advanced military hardware, including jet engines and fighter aircraft. Beijing is balancing between Moscow and Washington, strengthening ties with the US and its allies, while the Kremlin is strengthening ties with Tokyo - much to the disappointment of Chinese leaders, the Financial Times analyzes the situation.

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