Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Belarusian counterpart Alexander Lukashenko on Monday (December 4th) welcomed a strengthening of their bilateral relations, on the occasion of the Belarusian leader's second trip to China this year. Alexander Lukashenko, a staunch ally of Russia ostracized by most Western countries for his authoritarianism, arrived in China on Sunday for a visit that is expected to last at least two days.
He is visiting China for the second time this year, after a trip in February, as his close ally Russia, engaged in a war in Ukraine, also cultivates ties with Beijing.
'Reliable partner for China'
Belarus is, was and will be a reliable partner for China," Alexander Lukashenko told Xi Jinping on Monday, according to a readout of the talks released by the Belarusian presidential office. "We decided a long time ago that we would cooperate ... and that we would be friends with China," he said. "This friendship is more than 30 years old and has never strayed from this path.»
The Chinese president, in turn, said that "political mutual trust" and "international collaboration" between the two countries had grown stronger since Lukashenko's visit in February, according to Chinese state broadcaster CCTV. China "firmly supports Belarus in its development process in accordance with its national conditions and opposes interference by external forces in the internal affairs" of the country, Xi said.
He said Beijing wanted to "strengthen strategic cooperation" with Minsk and "promote pragmatic cooperation." Beijing has not publicly condemned Russia's invasion of Ukraine despite pressure from the United States and other Western countries. Belarus is heavily dependent on Russia's political and financial support and its territory has been widely used for Russian maneuvers against Ukraine since the Russian invasion in February 2022.