Russia visit sets course for ties, more teamwork

Relations mark highest level of mutual trust and strategic coordination, experts say

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President Xi Jinping’s just-concluded state visit to Russia set the course for Sino-Russian ties in the new era and also contributed positive energy to the changing world, officials and experts said.

Xi’s visit sent a clear message to the world that the consensus on deepening mutual trust between Beijing and Moscow is unbreakable, and that China’s belief in win-win cooperation is unshakable, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at the conclusion of the visit.

Xi arrived in Beijing from the three-day state visit to Russia on Saturday. The visit came as the two countries mark the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties. It also took place against the backdrop of the world facing common challenges arising from increasing unilateralism and protectionism.

Wang hailed the joint statement on bilateral ties signed by Xi and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin as “the most significant political outcome” of the visit. The political document lifted Sino-Russian ties to a comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era.

Bilateral ties have become a major-country relationship featuring the highest degree of mutual trust and the highest level of strategic coordination, thus making a key contribution to safeguarding world peace and stability, Wang said.

Oleg Timofeev, an associate professor of China studies at the Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia, said the two countries’ decision to upgrade their relationship demonstrates the continuous efforts that have been made in relations between the two major states in recent years and represents the unprecedented level of bilateral relations and strong mutual strategic trust among them.

Timofeev said the relationship has grown with expanded economic ties. Bilateral trade between Russia and China reached $108 billion last year — breaking the $100 billion milestone, he said.

But what is more notable is the growing international industrial capacity cooperation framework, which could foster synergy between the two powers’ production equipment, advanced technologies and export capabilities, Timofeev added.

Vladimir Yakunin, chairman of Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute, said that the new era doesn’t only mean higher-level cooperation in the field of politics, it also means an even closer economic partnership.

The joint building of the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by President Xi is a global initiative that is equal, open and will benefit the global economy, Yakunin said, adding that he expects more practical projects will be generated from the alignment of the BRI and Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union after Xi’s visit.

Recognizing that the current international security situation is facing serious challenges, Xi and Putin also signed a joint statement on strengthening global strategic stability.

Wang said that the joint statement demonstrated the united voice of China and Russia in coping with challenges in strategic security, intensifying strategic coordination in regional security hot spots and advancing a multipolar world and the democratization of international relations.

Ji Zhiye, former president of the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said China and Russia, both being permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, have vowed through the joint statement that they both oppose any moves damaging global strategic stability.

It also expressed the two presidents’ firm determination to maintain global strategic stability for the common good of all of mankind, Ji said.

During the visit, the two heads of state also witnessed the signing of nearly 30 bilateral cooperation documents in a wide range of fields such as economics and trade, energy, science and technology, aerospace, agriculture and education.

This demonstrates that the all-around, in-depth and wide-ranging mutually beneficial cooperation between China and Russia is in the making, Wang said.

Xi also addressed the plenary session of the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, highlighted sustainable development as the “golden key” to solving global problems and underlined China’s firm resolve to uphold opening-up and preserve the multilateral trading system, Wang added.

(China Daily Global 06/10/2019 page1)