On the eve of the meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin published an article “Russia and China: a partnership looking to the future”
On March 19, 2023, on the eve of a meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, Russian President Vladimir Putin published an article about the relationship between the two countries. The material “Russia and China: a partnership looking to the future” was published in the largest Chinese newspaper “People’s Daily”, and in Russian was published on the Kremlin website.
We publish the full text of the article.
I am pleased to have the opportunity to address the friendly Chinese people from the pages of one of the world’s largest and most authoritative publications on the eve of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Russia. This significant event reaffirms the special nature of the Russian-Chinese partnership, which has always been based on mutual trust, respect for each other’s sovereignty and interests.
We have great expectations for the upcoming negotiations. We have no doubt that they will give a powerful new impetus to the entire range of bilateral cooperation. It is also a great opportunity for me to see a good old friend with whom we have the warmest relationship.
We met Comrade Xi Jinping in March 2010, when he arrived in Moscow at the head of a representative Chinese delegation. Our first meeting was very professional and at the same time sincere and friendly. This style of communication personally impresses me deeply. I know that China attaches great importance to friendship and human relations. It is no coincidence that the wise Confucius said: “Isn’t it a joy when a friend comes from afar?” We in Russia also highly appreciate these qualities, for us a true friend is like a brother. In this, our towns are very similar.
Three years later, on the same March days, we met again in the capital of Russia. On that occasion, Xi Jinping made his first state visit to our country after being elected President of the People’s Republic of China. That summit set the tone and dynamics of Russian-Chinese relations for many years, became clear proof of the special nature of Russia-China relations, and set the vector for their accelerated and sustainable development.
A decade has passed, which, by the standards of the history of our countries, united by the ties of centuries-old traditions of good neighborliness and cooperation, is only a moment. During this time, a lot has changed in the world, and often not for the better, but the main thing has remained unchanged – the strong Russian-Chinese friendship, which is constantly strengthening for the benefit and in the interests of our countries and peoples. . The advances in bilateral ties are impressive. Russian-Chinese relations have reached the highest level in their history and continue to strengthen, they are superior in quality to the political-military alliances of the Cold War, there is no leader and follower, there are no restrictions or prohibited topics. Our political dialogue has become extremely trusting, strategic interaction has become comprehensive, and it is entering a new era. President Xi Jinping and I have met some 40 times and have always found the time and opportunity to communicate both in a variety of official formats and in a “no strings attached” setting.
One of our priorities is the commercial and economic association. By the end of 2022, the already strong bilateral trade had doubled to $185 billion. This is a new record. And we have every reason to believe that the $200 billion bar we set with President Xi Jinping will not be exceeded in 2024, but already this year. At the same time, it is important that the share of payments in national currencies in mutual trade grows and our relations become even more sovereign.
Long-term joint plans and programs are being successfully implemented. For example, the main Russian-Chinese gas pipeline “Power of Siberia” on its scale, without exaggeration, has become the “deal of the century.” The volume of domestic oil and coal deliveries has grown significantly. With the participation of our specialists, new nuclear power units are being built in China, Chinese companies are actively participating in LNG projects, and industrial and agricultural cooperation is being strengthened. Together we explore outer space and develop new technologies.
Russia and China are powers with ancient original traditions and a colossal cultural heritage. And now, when all pandemic-related restrictions on mutual contacts have been lifted, it is important to increase humanitarian and tourism exchanges as soon as possible, thereby helping to strengthen the social base of the Russian-Chinese partnership. The celebration of interstate theme years plays a special role in this. For example, the years 2022-2023 are dedicated to cooperation in the field of physical culture and sport, which is in high demand by our citizens.
Unlike some countries that claim hegemony and bring discord to world harmony, Russia and China are literally and figuratively building bridges. So, last year our border regions were connected by two bridges across the Amur, which has long become a “river of friendship”. Between the “waves and the winds” of the planet, we closely cooperate in international affairs and, shoulder to shoulder, “like a rock in a turbulent current”, we effectively coordinate our foreign policy positions, fight against common threats and respond to modern challenges. We are actively promoting democratic multilateral structures like SCO and BRICS, which are becoming more authoritative and influential, gaining new partners and friends. The same objective is served by the joint work of the construction of the Eurasian Economic Union and the One Belt, One Road initiative.
Together with like-minded people, our countries constantly advocate for the formation of a more just multipolar world order based on international law, and not on certain “rules” that serve the needs of the “golden billion.” Russia and China are constantly working towards creating an equal, open and inclusive security system that is not directed against third countries in the region and the world as a whole. In this regard, we note the constructive role of China’s Global Security Initiative, which is in line with Russian approaches in this area.
We see that the external geopolitical landscape is undergoing drastic changes. The “collective West” clings more and more desperately to archaic dogmas, to its elusive domain, putting the fate of entire states and peoples at stake. The US course of double containment of Russia and China, as well as all those who do not succumb to US dictates, is becoming sharper and more assertive. The architecture of international security and cooperation is being dismantled. Russia is declared an “immediate threat” and China a “strategic competitor”.
We are grateful for the balanced line of the PRC in relation to the events taking place in Ukraine, for understanding their background and true reasons. We welcome China’s willingness to play a constructive role in resolving the crisis. Like our Chinese friends, we uphold strict observance of the United Nations Charter and respect for the norms of international law, including humanitarian law. We are committed to the principle of indivisibility of security, flagrantly violated by the NATO bloc. We are deeply concerned about irresponsible and downright dangerous actions that could undermine global nuclear safety. Illegitimate unilateral sanctions, which must be lifted, are not acceptable.
Russia is open to a political-diplomatic settlement of the Ukraine crisis. However, in April 2022, the peace talks were by no means ended by us. The future of the peace process depends solely on the readiness for a serious conversation, taking into account the prevailing geopolitical realities. Unfortunately, the ultimatum demands addressed to Russia speak only of isolation from such realities and disinterest in finding a way out of the current situation.
At the same time, the crisis in Ukraine, provoked and diligently fueled by the West, is today the most striking, but by no means the only manifestation of intentions to maintain dominance in the international arena and a unipolar world order. It is impossible not to understand that NATO is trying to give its activities a global scope, with the aim of penetrating the Asia-Pacific region. That some forces persistently strive to divide the common Eurasian space into a network of “exclusive clubs” and military blocs aimed at stopping the development of our countries and attacking their interests. However, no one will be able to achieve this.
It is Russian-Chinese relations that currently act as the cornerstone of regional and global stability, stimulate economic growth, and serve as a guarantor of a positive agenda in international affairs. They are an example of harmonious creative cooperation between major powers.
I am sure that our friendship and partnership, based on the strategic choice of the peoples of the two countries, will continue to grow and strengthen for the sake of the well-being and prosperity of Russia and China. And this will undoubtedly be facilitated by the current visit to Russia by the President of the People’s Republic of China.