From Xinhua News Agency, March 23, 2023. Complete text:
Beijing – Chinese President Xi Jinping paid a state visit to Russia from March 20 to 22 at the invitation of his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin. The two leaders had sincere, friendly and fruitful talks on bilateral ties and major regional and international issues of mutual interest, and reached new and important common understanding in many fields.
The international community has spoken highly of Xi’s visit, describing the journey of friendship, cooperation and peace as a historic milestone. Under the strategic guidance of Xi and Putin, China and Russia have enriched the comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era, and deepened practical cooperation in various fields, bringing more benefits to the people of the two countries, global observers have said.
They also expressed the belief that the visit will help improve global governance, promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, and advance the cause of human progress.
On the fruitful results of Xi’s visit, Vasily Kashin, director of the Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies at Russia’s National Research University-Higher School of Economics, said head-of-state diplomacy is the key to the steady progress of Russia-China relations.
Noting the visit’s major accomplishments in deepening the partnership and strengthening economic cooperation, Kashin believed that Russia-China relations will continue to develop healthily and rapidly.
For former Bolivian Foreign Minister Fernando Huanacuni, in the face of rising hegemonism and unilateralism, Xi’s visit has injected more elements of stability and certainty into today’s world.
The China-Russia relationship has set an example for major-country relations, and inspired Latin American countries that are seeking cooperation, said Huanacuni.
In recent years, the heads of state of both countries have stayed in close contact in various ways, drawing up blueprints for China-Russia relations and their cooperation, said Serik Korzhumbayev, editor-in-chief of the Delovoy Kazakhstan newspaper.
Bilateral relations have become more comprehensive, practical and strategic, Korzhumbayev added.
Noting that “we are at a turning point in the history of mankind,” Argentine sociologist Marcelo Rodriguez said “it (the China-Russia relationship) generates a new paradigm***of what international relations should be.”
“Only through cooperation, mutual respect and the search for a system of international relations based on these principles could the peoples advance in the best relations and collaboration at different levels, not only economic, but also political, cultural, scientific,” Rodriguez added.
China-Russia relations feature equality and mutual respect, and the vision embodied in their relationship is “gaining increasing global support,” said Abdullah al Faraj, an expert on China-Russia relations with the Center for Research and Intercommunication Knowledge, a Saudi think tank in Riyadh.
Thanks to the joint efforts of both sides, China-Russia trade exceeded $190 billion last year, up by 116% from ten years ago. Since 2022, bilateral practical cooperation across the board has yielded fruitful results.
The two joint statements and a number of bilateral cooperation documents signed by the two sides during Xi’s visit are very important, said Kashin.
The expert said that the two sides will strengthen cooperation in industry, energy and logistics, and will forge a new-type industrial chain with industrial enterprises of the two countries involved. That means Russia-China relations have seen important new progress and the two sides have opened a new chapter of cooperation in various fields, Kashin added.
China and Russia are each other’s largest neighbors and major emerging markets, said Korzhumbayev, adding that two-way investment has been increasing and cooperation on major projects in such fields as energy, aviation, space and connectivity is also moving forward steadily.
Through this visit, the two sides will not only strengthen cooperation in e-commerce, scientific and technological innovation, industry and agriculture, but also expand people-to-people exchanges in science, education, health, culture and other fields, providing an inexhaustible driving force for China-Russia common development, Korzhumbayev said.
Promoting the Belt and Road cooperation and building the Greater Eurasian Partnership can run in parallel and achieve coordinated development, experts have said, stressing the importance of enhancing connectivity between Asia and Europe, as well as China-Russia communication and coordination within the United Nations, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the BRICS cooperation mechanism, and other multilateral frameworks.
Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan, executive director of the Islamabad-based Centre of South Asia and International Studies, said the Belt and Road Initiative has already been an ideal platform for connecting Eurasian regions to the European Union, the Middle East, South Asia and beyond.
Xi’s visit to Russia has delivered multiple benefits, not only to the two countries, but also to people around the world, the expert said.
Community with a shared future.
When meeting with Putin, Xi noted that changes unseen in a century are evolving faster and the international balance of power is undergoing a profound shift. As permanent members of the UN Security Council and major countries in the world, China and Russia have natural responsibilities to make joint efforts to steer and promote global governance in a direction that meets the expectations of the international community and promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind, Xi said.
Multilateralism is the key to world peace and development, and this trend cannot be stopped, said Joseph Matthews, a senior professor at the BELTEI International University in Cambodia.
China and Russia, as important members of international and regional organizations, lead and drive the process of multilateralism, playing a balancing and stabilizing role in maintaining the world order, the professor added.
Meanwhile, Xi’s remarks on the Ukraine crisis have resonated with the international community. “China has all along abided by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, followed an objective and impartial position, and actively encouraged peace talks. China has based its position on the merits of the matter per se and stood firm for peace and dialogue and on the right side of history,” Xi said.
Huanacuni welcomed China’s stance on the Ukraine issue, believing that responsible and sincere dialogue is the best way to address the issue, and can benefit the entire region and the world.
Calling on major countries to set an example, Keith Bennett, a British long-term China specialist, stressed China’s ability to “outline a fair and realistic path to peace in the Ukraine crisis.”
In the view of Marie Agnes Anona, director general of the National School of Administration of Madagascar, China has always been committed to maintaining world peace and promoting common development. The expert expressed the belief that China can play a constructive role in politically resolving the Ukraine issue.
Levente Horvath, director of the Eurasia Center of the John von Neumann University in Hungary, pointed out that the Belt and Road cooperation, the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative Xi mentioned during his visit are essential, representing China’s efforts for world peace, development and cooperation.
These important initiatives advocate mutual respect, equality, and common development among different countries and civilizations in the world, helping achieve mutual benefit, he said.