Xi, Putin hold talks, sign joint statement on deepening ties

China, Russia have found ‘new path for major countries’

Photo: Xinhua

Chinese President Xi Jinping held large-group talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is in China on a state visit, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on Thursday. Analysts from both countries said the visit will reinforce and further promote the bilateral strategic ties with high level mutual-trust and broad common interests. 

During the meeting, Xi again extended a warm welcome to Putin for his state visit to China. He pointed out that this is President Putin’s first foreign visit after he began his new term as the president. This fully demonstrates the great importance President Putin himself and the Russian government attach to developing China-Russia relations. China highly appreciates this.

Xi said this year marks the 75th anniversary of the China-Russia diplomatic relations. It is an important milestone year in the history of China-Russia relations. Over the past 75 years, China and Russia together have found a new path for major countries and neighboring countries to treat each other with respect and pursue amity and mutually beneficial cooperation.

With the concerted efforts of the two sides, China-Russia relations have been moving forward steadily, with enhanced comprehensive strategic coordination and further cooperation on economy and trade, investment, energy, people-to-people exchanges, at the subnational level and in other fields. This has made positive contributions to maintaining global strategic stability and promoting greater democracy in international relations, Xi remarked.

Both China and Russia are permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and major emerging markets. It is the shared strategic choice of both countries to deepen strategic coordination, expand mutually beneficial cooperation and follow the general historical trend of multipolarity in the world and economic globalization.

Li Haidong, a professor at the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times on Thursday that China and Russia are providing back-to-back mutual support to each other amid the turbulence that the world is experiencing. He pointed out that this doesn’t mean they are building an alliance to target anyone, but are providing strategic support to serve the fundamental interests of not only the two peoples but also the fairness and justice of the world, to jointly withstand hegemony and unilateralism, and promote multilateralism.

“The China-Russia strategic partnership has set an example for successful relations between major powers that can withstand the turbulence of the world, and it’s also the key to maintaining the strategic balance of international relations,” Li noted. 

According to TASS, Putin said at the meeting with Xi that “It is of fundamental importance that relations between Russia and China are not opportunistic and are not directed against anyone. Our cooperation in world affairs today serves as one of the main stabilizing factors in the international arena.” 

More and more cooperation

According to the Xinhua News Agency, Xi and Putin on Thursday signed and issued a joint statement on deepening China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries. The two leaders also attended the signing ceremony of cooperation documents in Beijing on Thursday.

Cui Heng, a scholar from the Shanghai-based China National Institute for SCO International Exchange and Judicial Cooperation, told the Global Times on Thursday that Putin has brought a massive delegation with him that includes senior officials in charge of fields such as energy, economy and finance, as well as heads of giant companies in heavy industry and mining.

“This means the cooperation documents between the two sides will cover many areas, which, it is believed, will further promote bilateral relations to a higher level,” Cui noted.

Alexey Maslov, director of the Institute of Asian and African Studies of Moscow State University, told the Global Times in an exclusive interview recently that Russia’s economy realized a 3.6 percent GDP increase in 2023, and will continue to grow this year thanks to the cooperation with China and other countries. 

“Recently, Russia invested in a lot of innovative productions, including electronics and microprocessors. Russia started to cooperate with, for example, China in electric car production and science and technology. It also started to produce much more of its own agricultural products. Right now, Russia not only produces these agricultural products by itself, but also exports these products more, for example, to China,” he said.

Maslov said, “What Russia really needs right now is much more new technologies. And in this area, we have a lot of problems, including the lack of highly qualified personnel. And that’s why Russia started to develop its Far Eastern region, where Russia established new centers for technological development.”

The eighth China-Russia Expo is set to take place from May 16 to 21 in Harbin, northeast China’s Heilongjiang Province, which borders Russia’s Far East region. Trade between the two countries will see new impetus after Putin’s China visit, said businesspeople from the two countries.

Vice President of the Russian Export Center Alexey Solodov told the Global Times on Thursday at the expo, “The Chinese market is definitely our largest market. I would say it’s the most friendly and a very important one for us. We are doing our best to show that these products are very nice and cost-effective.”

President Putin’s visit to China will no doubt inject more vitality into bilateral trade cooperation. The foundation of our bilateral trade cooperation is our friendship and I’m sure after this Expo, ties between Russia and China will be stronger, he said.

“I’m confident that the trade cooperation between the two countries will be strengthened,” Solodov said.

On international affairs

Xi and Putin jointly met the press in Beijing on Thursday. Xi said to the press that with Russia chairing BRICS this year and China taking over the chairmanship of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization later this year, the two sides will support each other’s chairmanship, build a high-quality partnership that is more comprehensive, close, practical and inclusive, and build the unity and strength of the Global South.

China and Russia are committed to fairness and justice as the purpose of relations, and dedicated to the political settlement of hotspots. Cold War mentality still exists, and unilateralism, hegemonism, bloc confrontation and power politics threaten world peace and the security of all countries. The two presidents are of the view that it is urgent to solve the Palestinian-Israeli conflict. UN resolutions must be earnestly implemented and the question of Palestine must be solved on the basis of the two-State solution, Xi said.

The Chinese president said that the two sides believe that a political settlement is the right way forward for the Ukraine crisis. China’s position on this issue is consistent and clear, including observing the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, respecting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of all countries, respecting the legitimate security concerns of all parties, and building a new security architecture that is balanced, effective and sustainable. China hopes that peace and stability will return to the European continent at an early date, and stands ready to play a constructive role to this end.

Excerpts: Global Times

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