BEIJING, January 9. /TASS/. China’s newly appointed Foreign Minister Qin Gang pledged to maintain close relations with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said in a statement on Monday, adding that the top diplomats of China and Russia held a telephone conversation earlier in the day.
"I am ready to maintain close relations with [Russian] Foreign Minister [Sergey Lavrov]," the statement quoted Qin Gang as saying.
The Chinese top diplomat stated that Beijing was ready to keep promoting bilateral relations with Moscow.
"We are ready to work with Russia toward implementing the important consensus reached between the leaders of the two countries and keep pushing relations between China and Russia forward non-stop," he stated.
According to Qin, the strategic guidance of Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin has helped propel the comprehensive strategic partnership between the two countries to a very high level.
"Chinese-Russian relations are based on the principles of non-allegiance [with any blocs], and non-confrontation, while not targeting any third party," the Chinese foreign minister emphasized.
Qin Gang, 56, served as the Chinese Ambassador to the United States between July 2021 and December 2022.
On December 30, 2022, a decision was made at a meeting of the Standing Committee of the National People’s Congress to appoint Gang China’s new Foreign Minister. Qin Gang succeeds Wang Yi, who had headed the Chinese Foreign Ministry since 2013.