Chinese President Xi Jinping praises the "good momentum of development" in bilateral relations between Beijing and Moscow in the face of "global turmoil and changes", refusing to condemn Moscow's offensive in Ukraine.

Xi reportedly says that Beijing is willing to
Xi reportedly says that Beijing is willing to "intensify strategic coordination between the two countries". (AA)

Chinese President Xi Jinping has told his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in a call that Beijing will keep backing Moscow on "sovereignty and security", according to state media.

China is "willing to continue to offer mutual support (to Russia) on issues concerning core interests and major concerns such as sovereignty and security," Chinese state broadcaster CCTV reported Xi as saying on Wednesday. 

It was the second reported call between the two leaders since Russia launched his military operation in Ukraine on February 24.

China has refused to condemn Moscow's offensive in Ukraine and has been accused of providing diplomatic cover for Russia by blasting Western sanctions and arms sales to Kiev.

READ MORE: Kremlin: China will back Russia on security concerns over Ukraine

'Pushing global governance'

According to CCTV, Xi praised the "good momentum of development" in bilateral relations since the start of the year "in the face of global turmoil and changes".

"Beijing was willing to "intensify strategic coordination between the two countries", Xi reportedly said.

China was ready to "strengthen communication and coordination" with Russia in international organisations and "push the international order and global governance towards more just and reasonable development," he added.

The European Union and the United States have warned that any backing from Beijing for Russia's offensive in Ukraine, or help for Moscow to dodge Western sanctions, would damage ties with China.

'No limits' relationship

China as well as India are two major economies that have not taken part in retaliatory measures against Moscow over its offensive in Ukraine.

In the eyes of Chinese officials, the Europeans have allowed themselves to be sucked into backing Ukraine, at Washington's initiative, in a move contrary to their interests as Russian gas consumers.

Once bitter Cold War enemies, Beijing and Moscow have stepped up cooperation in recent years as a counterbalance to what they see as US global dominance.

The two countries have drawn closer in the political, trade and military spheres as part of what they call a "no limits" relationship.

The two sides last week unveiled the first road bridge linking the two countries, connecting the far eastern Russian city of Blagoveshchensk with the northern Chinese city of Heihe.

Beijing is Moscow's largest trading partner, with trade volumes last year hitting $147 billion, according to Chinese customs data, up more than 30 percent on 2019. 

READ MORE: Why China has a complex position on the Russia-Ukraine conflict

Source: AFP