Communist Party’s security chief to visit Russia ahead of Putin’s expected China trip as law enforcement ties grow

Communist Party’s security chief to visit Russia ahead of Putin’s expected China trip as law enforcement ties grow

China’s top security official Chen Wenqing will visit Russia ahead of an anticipated visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin to China next month as law enforcement cooperation between Beijing and Moscow continues to grow.

Chen, a member of the Communist Party’s Politburo and secretary of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission, has been invited to attend the 12th International Meeting of High Representatives for Security Issues, the Chinese foreign ministry announced on Friday. He will visit Russia from Sunday to April 28, it said.

His visit will come about a month after 133 people were killed at a concert hall near Moscow in Russia’s worst terrorist attack in recent decades.

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Chen was promoted to China’s top security job overseeing police and intelligence during the leadership reshuffle in October 2022. He previously served as state security minister.

In May 2023, Chen spoke at the 11th International Meeting of High Representatives for Security Issues in Moscow, stressing that China would promote common international security while continuing to protect its own security.

During that visit, he met Russian spy chief Sergey Naryshkin and Nikolai Patrushev, secretary of Russia’s Security Council. The two sides agreed to deepen cooperation to safeguard their security interests.

These visits took place under the China-Russia law enforcement and security cooperation mechanism set up in 2014. Bilateral meetings are held annually to discuss issues such as national security and counterterrorism.

China and Russia have moved closer on security in recent years amid rising tensions with the West. Chinese President Xi Jinping met Putin in Moscow in March last year, and the two leaders discussed issues ranging from bilateral cooperation to the war in Ukraine and Beijing’s proposed peace plan.

Putin reportedly plans to visit China in May as the two countries mark the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations, but Russian presidential press secretary Dmitry Peskov said last week that he could not confirm the timing of Putin’s visit.

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Xi and Putin will also meet this year on the sidelines of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation gathering to be held in Kazakhstan and the Brics summit in Russia with leaders from Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov confirmed earlier this month.

Lavrov met Xi in Beijing last week. The two pledged to defend a multipolar world and jointly condemned Western-led “bloc confrontation” in their talks. Xi said China was willing to increase strategic coordination with Russia within multilateral frameworks to “promote reform” of the global system.

The two countries have increased their economic relationship while also boosting cooperation in areas such as the military, artificial intelligence and space.

Last year, China’s total trade with Russia hit a record high of US$240 billion, up 26 per cent from the previous year, making Russia the sixth-biggest trading partner of mainland China, following the United States, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

China has been Russia’s biggest trading partner since 2010.



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