By Zhong Sheng, People’s Daily
Chinese President Xi Jinping will pay a state visit to Russia from June 5 to 7 at the invitation of his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, and attend the 23rd St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.
2019 marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Russia. The important meeting of the two heads of state is expected to further deepen mutual trust, enhance cooperation and strengthen friendship, and take China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination to a new level.
China and Russia have worked steadily to elevate their relationship and now enjoy a firm basis for bilateral ties.
The two countries have upgraded their bilateral relations from“21st-century strategic partnership centered on equality and mutual trust” to “comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination based on equality, mutual trust, mutual support, common prosperity and lasting friendship”. After then, the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination entered a new stage.
As a result, the relations between the two countries that deliver high-quality performance have become a major highlight for international relations.
It is obvious to all that China-Russia relations, maintaining stable development, carry the common aspiration of the two peoples and conform to the common interests of the two countries. Besides, the bilateral relations also stand as an important strategic factor to safeguard the world peace.
The strategic guidance of and close exchanges between the Chinese and Russian Presidents are a powerful driving force propelling the in-depth development of bilateral relations.
Over the years, the two heads of state kept annual exchange of visits, and the two countries also enjoy a tradition to support each other on holding major international events.
This April, Putin visited China for the second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation at the invitation of Xi. The first meeting of the two heads of state in 2019 mapped out a blue print for future development of bilateral relations, and made a good start for the two countries to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations.
Xi noted that the relations between China and Russia have become a major-country relationship featuring the highest degree of mutual trust, the highest level of coordination and the highest strategic value since the two countries established diplomatic ties 70 years ago.
Putin said currently China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination has reached the highest level of history, becoming an example of how countries should interact with each other.
As the strategic guidance of the two heads of state has laid a solid foundation for the further development of China-Russia relations, Xi’s upcoming visit to Russia is widely anticipated.
Under the care of the two heads of state, China-Russia practical cooperation has embarked on a “fast track” of development, injecting new impetus for the sustained, healthy, and stable progress of bilateral relations.
In 2015, the two heads of state signed a Joint Declaration on Cooperation in Aligning the Building of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Eurasian Economic Union, making a new plan for bilateral relations from a strategic height.
Putin attended both the first and second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, and new consensus was reached by the two countries on aligning their development strategies. It demonstrates the huge potential and bright prospects of bilateral cooperation.
Last year, the trade volume between the two countries grew by 27.1 percent to $107.06 billion, exceeding the $100 billion mark for the first time. The growth was the highest in China’s trade with its top ten largest trading partners.
China and Russia have been actively nurturing new growth points in digital economy, small and medium enterprises, high technologies, Far East development, and Arctic development. The mutual support and assistance of the two countries will help them achieve common development.
Started in 1997, St. Petersburg International Economic Forum has grown into one of Russia’s most important business events. When international community is faced with rising trade protectionism and louder voices against globalization, Xi’s first-ever attendance to the forum fully demonstrates China’s will and responsibility to deepen win-win cooperation with the world, build an open world economy, and promote common development.
This year is a crucial historical juncture as it marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of People’s Republic of China and the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Russia.
At such a time, Xi’s upcoming visit to Russia has triggered wide expectation from the world that the two heads of state can lead China-Russia relations to progress with time and stimulate new vitality for bilateral ties, so as to achieve better development of the relations and jointly create a better future of the world.
(Zhong Sheng is a pen name often used by People’s Daily to express its views on foreign policy.)
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