Vladimir Putin’s article in the People’s Daily “Russia and China – a partnership looking to the future”
I am glad to have the opportunity to address the friendly Chinese people on the eve of the state visit to China from the pages of one of the largest and most authoritative world publications. Russia Chairman PRC Xi Jinping. This significant event reaffirms the special nature of the Russian-Chinese partnership, which has always been built on mutual trust, respect for each other’s sovereignty and interests.
We have high 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 visited Moscow at the head of a representative Chinese delegation. Our first meeting was very businesslike 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 relationships. It is no coincidence that the sage 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 peoples are very similar.
Three years later, around the same March days, we met again in the capital of Russia. At that time, 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 for Russian-Chinese relations for many years, became clear evidence of the special nature of relations between Russia and China, and determined the vector of their accelerated and sustainable development.
A decade has passed, which, by the standards of the history of our countries, bound by the ties of centuries-old traditions of good neighborliness and cooperation, is just a moment. Much has changed in the world during this time, and often not for the better, but the main thing has remained unchanged – strong Russian-Chinese friendship, which is consistently strengthening for the benefit and in the interests of our countries and peoples. The progress made in bilateral ties is impressive. Russian-Chinese relations have reached the highest level in their history and continue to grow stronger, they are superior in quality to the military-political alliances of the Cold War, there is no leader and follower, there are no restrictions or forbidden topics. Our political dialogue has become extremely trusting, strategic interaction has become comprehensive and is entering a new era. President Xi Jinping and I have met about 40 times and have always found time and opportunity to communicate both in a variety of official formats and in a no-tie environment.
One of our priorities is trade and economic partnership. By the end of 2022, the already solid bilateral trade doubled and reached $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 be exceeded not in 2024, but already this year. At the same time, it is important that the share of settlements in national currencies in mutual trade is growing and our relations are becoming even more sovereign.
Long-term joint plans and programs are being successfully implemented. For example, the Russian-Chinese main gas pipeline “Power of Siberia” in its scale, without exaggeration, has become the “deal of the century.” The volume of deliveries of domestic oil and coal has grown significantly. With the participation of our specialists, new nuclear power units are being built in China, Chinese companies are actively involved in LNG projects, and industrial and agricultural cooperation is growing stronger. Together we explore outer space and develop new technologies.
Russia and China are powers with ancient original traditions and colossal cultural heritage. And now, when all pandemic-related restrictions on mutual contacts have been lifted, it is important to increase humanitarian and tourist exchanges as soon as possible, thereby contributing to strengthening the social base of the Russian-Chinese partnership. Interstate thematic years play a special role in this. For example, the years 2022-2023 are dedicated to cooperation in the field of physical culture and sports, which is very much in demand by our citizens.
Unlike some countries that claim hegemony and bring discord into world harmony, Russia and China are literally and figuratively building bridges. Thus, last year our border regions were connected by two bridge crossings over the Amur, which has long become a “river of friendship.” Among the “waves and winds” on the planet, we closely cooperate in international affairs and, standing shoulder to shoulder, “like a rock in the midst of a turbulent stream,” we effectively coordinate our foreign policy positions, fight against common threats, and respond to modern challenges. We actively promote such democratic multilateral structures as SCO And BRICS, which are becoming more and more authoritative and influential, gaining new partners and friends. The same purpose is served by work on conjugation of construction Eurasian Economic Union and the One Belt, One Road initiative.
Together with like-minded people, our countries consistently advocate 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 consistently working in the interests of creating an equal, open, inclusive security system not directed against third countries in the region and the world as a whole. In this regard, we note the constructive role of the Chinese “Global Security Initiative”, which is consonant 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 dominance, putting the fate of entire states and peoples at stake. The course pursued by the United States to double contain Russia and China, as well as all those who do not succumb to American diktat, is becoming more acute and assertive. The architecture of international security and cooperation is being dismantled. Russia has been declared an “immediate threat” and China a “strategic competitor”.
We are grateful for the balanced line of the PRC in connection with the events taking place in Ukraine, for understanding their background and true causes. We welcome China’s willingness to play a constructive role in resolving the crisis. Like our Chinese friends, we stand for strict observance of the Charter UNrespect for the norms of international law, including humanitarian law. We are committed to the principle of indivisibility of security, which is flagrantly violated bloc NATO. We are deeply concerned about irresponsible and simply dangerous actions that could undermine global nuclear security. Illegitimate unilateral sanctions, which must be lifted, are not acceptable.
Russia is open to a politico-diplomatic settlement of the Ukrainian crisis. However, back in April 2022, the peace talks were by no means terminated 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 the most striking today, 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, aiming at penetration into the Asia-Pacific region. That some forces are persistently striving to split the common Eurasian space into a network of “exclusive clubs” and military blocs aimed at curbing the development of our countries and infringing on their interests. However, no one will be able to achieve this.
It is Russian-Chinese relations that today actually 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, undoubtedly, will be facilitated by the current visit to Russia of the Chairman of the People’s Republic of China.