Tuesday, June 1, 1999 Published at 18:32 GMT 19:32 UK
Kosovo crisis tops Ivanov's China talks
China and Russia moved closer after the embassy bombing
By Duncan Hewitt in Beijing
Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov has arrived in Beijing for a three-day visit.
The two countries have been united in their quest for an end to Nato's bombing campaign, and many observers believe the crisis has brought them closer together.
Following the bombing of its Belgrade embassy, China attacked the UN War Crimes Tribunal's indictment of President Milosevic.
Mr Ivanov's long-planned trip to Beijing is aimed partly at making plans for another visit by President Yeltsin.
Yet the Kosovo crisis will dominate his discussions and China's foreign ministry spokesman, Zhu Bangzao, said the two countries had similar or identical views on the subject.
Yet China is still demanding a halt to Nato's bombing campaign before it will allow a solution to be discussed at the UN Security Council, and a foreign ministry spokesman highlighted Beijing's continuing anger, accusing the War Crimes Tribunal of becoming a political tool of the US and other Nato countries.
Climate of tension
It said Nato's decision to indict President Milosevic was an attempt to legitimise what it called the aggressive war against Yugoslavia and to sabotage a negotiated settlement.
In this climate of tension with the west, good links with Moscow are clearly appealing to China's leaders.
Warming military ties have been underlined by last week's visit to China by Russia's navy commander, Admiral Vladimir Kuroyedov, and this week's visit by the deputy chief of staff of the Russian armed forces Valentin Korabelnikov.
However, while Russian military sales to China have grown accordingly, their general economic relationship is flagging - a reminder that the relationship between the two countries is still in its early phases.