The world’s eyes are on this trip: China’s President Xi Jinping is going to travel to Russia this week to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Ahead of this bilateral meeting of global importance, both leaders have published articles in the counterpart’s media.
Xi’s article titled “Forging Ahead to Open a New Chapter of China-Russia Friendship, Cooperation and Common Development” was published Monday on Russia’s newspaper Russian Gazette and the website of RIA Novosti news agency.
Putin published an article on Chinese People’s Daily Newspaper, titled “Russia and China: A Future-Bound Partnership”.
Russia and China: A Future-Bound Partnership
By Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation
I am glad to seize this opportunity to address the friendly Chinese people in one of the largest and most authoritative world media in advance of the state visit of President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping to Russia. This landmark event reaffirms the special nature of the Russia-China partnership, which has always been built on mutual trust, respect for each other’s sovereignty and interests.
We have high expectations for the upcoming talks. We have no doubt that they will give a new powerful impetus to our bilateral cooperation in its entirety. This is also a great opportunity for me to meet with my good old friend with whom we enjoy the warmest relationship.
I made acquaintance with Comrade Xi Jinping in March 2010 when he visited Moscow as head of a high-level Chinese delegation. Our first meeting was held in a very business-like and at the same time sincere and friendly atmosphere. I really like this style of communication. I know that people in China attach great importance to friendship and personal relationships. It is no coincidence that Confucius the Sage said: ”Is it not a joy to have friends coming from afar!“ In Russia we share this value and hold real friends for brothers. Our two peoples have very much in common here.
Three years later, about the same days in March, we met again in the capital of Russia. It was Xi Jinping’s first state visit to our country after his election as President of the People’s Republic of China. The summit set the tone and dynamics of Russia-China relations for many years to come, became clear evidence of the special nature of relations between Russia and China, and outlined the trajectory for their accelerated and sustainable development.
Since then, a decade has passed, which is but a fleeting moment in the history of our countries sharing a centuries-old tradition of good neighbourliness and cooperation. During this time, the world has seen many changes, often not for the better. Yet the main thing has remained unchanged: I am talking of the firm friendship between Russia and China, which is consistently growing stronger for the benefit and in the interest of our countries and peoples. The progress made in the development of bilateral ties is impressive. The Russia-China relations have reached the highest level in their history and are gaining even more strength; they surpass Cold War-time military-political alliances in their quality, with no one to constantly order and no one to constantly obey, without limitations or taboos. We have reached an unprecedented level of trust in our political dialogue, our strategic cooperation has become truly comprehensive in nature and is standing on the brink of a new era. President Xi Jinping and I have met about 40 times and have always found time and opportunity to talk in a variety of official formats as well as at no‑tie events.
Our priorities include trade and economic partnership. In 2022, our bilateral trade, which had already been considerable by the time, doubled to reach USD 185 billion. This is a new record. What is more, we have every reason to believe that the USD 200 billion target, which was set by President Xi Jinping and myself, will be exceeded as early as this year instead of 2024. It is noteworthy that the share of settlements in national currencies in our mutual trade is growing, further strengthening the sovereignty of our relations.
Long-term joint plans and programs are being successfully implemented. It will be no exaggeration to say that the Power of Siberia Russian-Chinese gas pipeline has become the ”deal of the century“ for its scale. The supplies of Russian oil and coal have increased significantly. Our specialists are involved in building new nuclear power units in China, while Chinese companies actively engage in LNG projects; our industrial and agricultural cooperation is growing stronger. Together we explore outer space and develop new technologies.
Russia and China are powers with ancient and unique traditions and an enormous cultural heritage. Now that all pandemic-related restrictions on mutual contacts have been lifted, it is important that we increase humanitarian and tourist exchanges as soon as possible, thereby strengthening the social basis of the Russian-Chinese partnership. Interstate thematic years have a special role to play in this context. For example, the 2022/2023 biennium is dedicated to cooperation in the field of physical culture and sports, which is very popular among our citizens.
Unlike some countries claiming hegemony and bringing discord to the global harmony, Russia and China are literally and figuratively building bridges. Last year our border regions were connected by two new bridge crossings over the Amur river, which has been a ”river of friendship“ since time immemorial. Amidst the ”waves and winds“ that sweep the planet, we closely cooperate in international affairs and effectively coordinate our foreign policy positions, counter common threats, and respond to current challenges, standing shoulder to shoulder as a ”rock amid a fast flowing stream.“ We actively promote democratic multilateral structures such as the SCO and BRICS, which become more and more authoritative and influential and attract new partners and friends. The work aimed at coordinating the development of the Eurasian Economic Union with the One Belt, One Road Initiative also goes in this vein.
Our countries, together with like-minded actors, have consistently advocated the shaping of a more just multipolar world order based on international law rather than certain ”rules“ serving the needs of the ”golden billion.“ Russia and China have consistently worked to create an equitable, open and inclusive regional and global security system that is not directed against third countries. In this regard, we note the constructive role of China’s Global Security Initiative, which is in line with the Russian approaches in this area.
We can feel the geopolitical landscape in the outside world change dramatically. Sticking more stubbornly than ever to its obsolete dogmata and vanishing dominance, the ”Collective West“ is gambling on the fates of entire states and peoples. The US’s policy of simultaneously deterring Russia and China, as well as all those who do not bend to the American dictation, is getting ever more fierce and aggressive. The international security and cooperation architecture is being dismantled. Russia has been labelled an ”immediate threat“ and China a ”strategic competitor.“
We appreciate the well-balanced stance on the events in Ukraine adopted by the PRC, as well as its understanding of their historical background and root causes. We welcome China’s readiness to make a meaningful contribution to the settlement of the crisis. Like our friends in China, we advocate for the strict compliance with the UN Charter, respect for the norms of international law, including humanitarian law. We are committed to the principle of the indivisibility of security, which is being grossly violated by the NATO bloc. We are deeply concerned over the irresponsible and outright dangerous actions that jeopardize nuclear security. We reject illegitimate unilateral sanctions, which must be lifted.
Russia is open to the political and diplomatic resolution of the Ukraine crisis. It was not Russia who broke off the peace talks back in April 2022. The future of the peace process depends solely on the will to engage in a meaningful discussion taking into account current geopolitical realities. Unfortunately, the ultimatum nature of requirements placed on Russia shows that their authors are detached from these realities and lack interest in finding a solution to the situation.
The crisis in Ukraine, which was provoked and is being diligently fuelled by the West, is the most striking, yet not the only, manifestation of its desire to retain its international dominance and preserve the unipolar world order. It is crystal clear that NATO is striving for a global reach of activities and seeking to penetrate the Asia-Pacific. It obvious that there are forces persistently working to split the common Eurasian space into a network of ”exclusive clubs“ and military blocs that would serve to contain our countries’ development and harm their interests. This won’t work.
In fact, today, the Russia-China relations serve as the cornerstone of regional and global stability, driving the economic growth and securing the positive agenda in international affairs. They provide an example of harmonious and constructive cooperation between major powers.
I am convinced that our friendship and partnership based on the strategic choice of the peoples of the two countries will further grow and gain strength for the well-being and prosperity of Russia and China. This visit of the President of the PRC to Russia will undoubtedly contribute to that.
Forging Ahead to Open a New Chapter of China-Russia Friendship, Cooperation and Common Development
By Xi Jinping, President of the People’s Republic of China
At the invitation of President Vladimir Putin, I will soon pay a state visit to the Russian Federation. Russia was the first country I visited after I was elected President 10 years ago. Over the past decade, I have made eight visits to Russia. I came each time with high expectations and returned with fruitful results, opening a new chapter for China-Russia relations together with President Putin.
China and Russia are each other’s biggest neighbor and comprehensive strategic partner of coordination. We are both major countries in the world and permanent members of the UN Security Council. Both countries uphold an independent foreign policy and see our relationship as a high priority in our diplomacy.
There is a clear historical logic and strong internal driving force for the growth of China-Russia relations. Over the past 10 years, we have come a long way in our wide-ranging cooperation and made significant strides into the new era.
— High-level interactions have played a key strategic role in leading China-Russia relations. We have established a whole set of mechanisms for high-level interactions and multi-faceted cooperation which provide important systemic and institutional safeguards for the growth of the bilateral ties. Over the years, I have maintained a close working relationship with President Putin. We have met 40 times on bilateral and international occasions. Together we have drawn the blueprint for the bilateral relations and cooperation in various fields, and have had timely communication on major international and regional issues of mutual interest, providing firm stewardship for the sustained, sound and stable growth of China-Russia relations.
— Our two sides have cemented political mutual trust and fostered a new model of major-country relations. Guided by a vision of lasting friendship and win-win cooperation, China and Russia are committed to no-alliance, no-confrontation and not targeting any third party in developing our ties. We firmly support each other in following a development path suited to our respective national realities and support each other’s development and rejuvenation. The bilateral relationship has grown more mature and resilient. It is brimming with new dynamism and vitality, setting a fine example for developing a new model of major-country relations featuring mutual trust, peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation.
— Our two sides have put in place an all-round and multi-tiered cooperation framework. Thanks to the joint efforts of both sides, China-Russia trade exceeded 190 billion U.S. dollars last year, up by 116 percent from ten years ago. China has been Russia’s largest trading partner for 13 years running. We have seen steady increase in our two-way investment. Our cooperation on major projects in such fields as energy, aviation, space and connectivity is moving forward steadily. Our collaboration in scientific and technological innovation, cross-border e-commerce and other emerging areas is showing a strong momentum. Our cooperation at the sub-national level is also booming. All this has brought tangible benefits to both the Chinese and the Russian peoples and provided unceasing driving force for our respective development and rejuvenation.
— Our two sides have acted on the vision of lasting friendship and steadily strengthened our traditional friendship. On the occasion of commemorating the 20th anniversary of the China-Russia Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation, President Putin and I announced the extension of the Treaty and added new dimensions to it. Our two sides have held eight “theme years” at the national level and continued to write new chapters for China-Russia friendship and cooperation. Our two peoples have stood by and rooted for each other in the fight against COVID, which once again proves that “a friend in need is a friend indeed.”
— Our two sides have had close coordination on the international stage and fulfilled our responsibilities as major countries. China and Russia are firmly committed to safeguarding the UN-centered international system, the international order underpinned by international law, and the basic norms of international relations based on the purposes and principles of the UN Charter. We have stayed in close communication and coordination in the UN, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, BRICS, the G20 and other multilateral mechanisms, and worked together for a multi-polar world and greater democracy in international relations. We have been active in practicing true multilateralism, promoting the common values of humanity, and championing the building of a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind.
Looking back on the extraordinary journey of China-Russia relations over the past 70 years and more, we feel strongly that our relationship has not reached easily where it is today, and that our friendship is growing steadily and must be cherished by us all. China and Russia have found a right path of state-to-state interactions. This is essential for the relationship to stand the test of changing international circumstances, a lesson borne out by both history and reality.
My upcoming visit to Russia will be a journey of friendship, cooperation and peace. I look forward to working with President Putin to jointly adopt a new vision, a new blueprint and new measures for the growth of China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination in the years to come.
To this end, our two sides need to enhance coordination and planning. As we focus on our respective cause of development and rejuvenation, we should get creative in our thinking, create new opportunities and inject new impetus. It is important that we increase mutual trust and bring out the potential of bilateral cooperation to keep China-Russia relations at a high level.
Our two sides need to raise both the quality and quantity of investment and economic cooperation and step up policy coordination to create favorable conditions for the high-quality development of our investment cooperation. We need to boost two-way trade, foster more convergence of interests and areas of cooperation, and promote the complementary and synchronized development of traditional trade and emerging areas of cooperation. We need to make sustained efforts to synergize the Belt and Road Initiative and the Eurasian Economic Union, so as to provide more institutional support for bilateral and regional cooperation.
Our two sides need to step up people-to-people and cultural exchanges and ensure the success of China-Russia Years of Sports Exchange. We should make good use of the sub-national cooperation mechanisms to facilitate more interactions between sister provinces/states and cities. We should encourage personnel exchanges and push for the resumption of tourism cooperation. We should make available better summer camps, jointly-run schools and other programs to steadily enhance the mutual understanding and friendship between our peoples, especially between the youth.
The world today is going through profound changes unseen in a century. The historical trend of peace, development and win-win cooperation is unstoppable. The prevailing trends of world multi-polarity, economic globalization and greater democracy in international relations are irreversible. On the other hand, our world is confronted with complex and intertwined traditional and non-traditional security challenges, damaging acts of hegemony, domination and bullying, and long and tortuous global economic recovery. Countries around the world are deeply concerned and eager to find a cooperative way out of the crisis.
In March 2013, when speaking at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, I observed that countries are linked with and dependent on one another at a level never seen before, and that mankind, living in the same global village, have increasingly emerged as a community with a shared future in which everyone’s interests are closely entwined. Since then, I have proposed the Belt and Road Initiative, the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative, and the Global Civilization Initiative on different occasions. All these have enriched our vision for a community with a shared future for mankind and provided practical pathways toward it. They are part of China’s response to the changes of the world, of our times, and of the historic trajectory.
Through these ten years, the common values of humanity — peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom — have taken deeper roots in the heart of the people. An open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world with lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity has become the shared aspiration of more and more countries. The international community has recognized that no country is superior to others, no model of governance is universal, and no single country should dictate the international order. The common interest of all humankind is in a world that is united and peaceful, rather than divided and volatile.
Since last year, there has been an all-round escalation of the Ukraine crisis. China has all along upheld an objective and impartial position based on the merits of the issue, and actively promoted peace talks. I have put forth several proposals, i.e., observing the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, respect of the legitimate security concerns of all countries, supporting all efforts conducive to the peaceful settlement of the crisis, and ensuring the stability of global industrial and supply chains. They have become China’s fundamental principles for addressing the Ukraine crisis.
Not long ago, we released China’s Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis, which takes into account the legitimate concerns of all parties and reflects the broadest common understanding of the international community on the crisis. It has been constructive in mitigating the spillovers of the crisis and facilitating its political settlement. There is no simple solution to a complex issue. We believe that as long as all parties embrace the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and pursue equal-footed, rational and results-oriented dialogue and consultation, they will find a reasonable way to resolve the crisis as well as a broad path toward a world of lasting peace and common security.
To run the world’s affairs well, one must first and foremost run its own affairs well. The Chinese people, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, are striving in unity to advance the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through the Chinese path to modernization. Chinese modernization is characterized by the following features: it is the modernization of a huge population, the modernization of common prosperity for all, the modernization of material and cultural-ethical advancement, the modernization of harmony between humanity and nature, and the modernization of peaceful development. These distinctive Chinese features are the crystallization of our practices and explorations over the years, and reflect our profound understanding of international experience. Going forward, we will steadfastly advance the cause of Chinese modernization, strive to realize high-quality development, and expand high-standard opening up. I believe that this will bring new development opportunities to Russia and all countries in the world.
Just as every new year starts with spring, every success starts with actions. We have every reason to expect that China and Russia, as fellow travelers on the journey of development and rejuvenation, will make new and greater contributions to human advancement.