World

Russia backs China’s stance on Taiwan, calling Pelosi’s visit ‘provocative.’

The Kremlin on Tuesday said Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s visit to Taiwan “provokes the situation” over the island, aligning Russia with China’s claims to Taiwan as its territory.

“Everything that relates to this tour, to the possible visit to Taiwan, is of course of provocative character,” the Kremlin spokesman, Dmitri S. Peskov, told reporters on Tuesday before she arrived. “It provokes the situation, leads to more tensions.”

“Here we are in absolute solidarity with China,” he continued. “Its sensitivity to this issue is justified.”

Wary of provoking Beijing, most European nations have long kept Taiwan at arm’s length.

But Russia, which has grown closer to China in recent years, on Friday reaffirmed its support on the issue. Its foreign minister, Sergey V. Lavrov, told reporters, “Our position on the existence of only one China remains unchanged.”

On Tuesday, Mr. Peskov said that with the speaker’s trip, “unfortunately, the U.S. chose the path of confrontation.”

“It doesn’t bode well,” he added.

Since Russia invaded Ukraine in February, China has tried to shield itself from the fallout of the war while preserving ties with Russia. Before the war, President Xi Jinping of China and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir V. Putin, had declared that their countries’ friendship had “no limits.”

That basic commitment appears to have endured. In June, Mr. Xi offered to deepen cooperation with Mr. Putin, and keeping with China and Russia’s official practice, he did not refer to a “war” or an “invasion,” instead mentioning only the “Ukraine issue.”

Since February, his government has called for peace talks and maintained it was trying to be an impartial broker. It has also denounced Western sanctions on Russia, amplified disinformation about the war, and purchased large amounts of Russian crude oil as European buyers dropped it.

At an international summit last month, the U.S. Secretary of State, Antony J. Blinken, urged China’s foreign minister to change positions over the war, saying, “it’s pretty hard to be neutral when it comes to this aggression.”

The foreign minister, Wang Yi, responded that Beijing was neutral, and accused the United States of having “dead end” policies and “China phobia,” echoing official Russian rhetoric of recent years.

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