China supports Russia’s efforts in protecting ‘national stability’

Beijing pledged its support for Russia’s efforts in maintaining ‘national stability’ following a short-lived armed uprising led by the head of the Wagner mercenary group Yevgeny Prigozhin.

“China and Russia maintain close, good communication at all levels,” Foreign Ministry spokesperson Mao Ning told a regular press briefing, without giving information on whether a talk occurred between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin.

-China contends with Putin after Wagner mutiny-

A once-in-a-generation security crisis in Russia compounded fears in Beijing that a strategic partner central to its global ambitions is not as stable as it hoped, analysts say.

China has emerged as Russia’s most important ally since the beginning of the Russia-Ukraine war.

During a March summit in Moscow, Xi and Putin declared that their vast countries’ ties were “entering a new era.”

This weekend’s crisis in Russia saw private mercenary group Wagner chief Yevgeny Prigozhin try to storm Moscow.

China weighed in Sunday evening — well over 24 hours after the mutiny began — with Beijing pledging its support for Russia’s efforts in “protecting national stability.”

The foreign ministry also said the issue was an “internal affair.”

By the time the ministry issued its statement, the rebellion in Russia had been quelled, with the Kremlin announcing Prigozhin would leave for Belarus and that Moscow would not prosecute him or Wagner’s members.

Analysts say they believe Beijing opted for a “wait-and-see” approach to the crisis, driven in part by an understanding that the rebellion exposed ‘fissures in Putin’s grip.’

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