Vladimir Putin had a conversation, via videoconference, with President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping in the run-up to the 20th anniversary of the signing of the bilateral Treaty of Good-Neighbourliness and Friendly Cooperation.
The leaders exchanged congratulations and assessed the current state of the strategic partnership between Russia and China and its development prospects. They discussed topical issues of the bilateral and international agenda.
A Joint Statement was adopted following the conversation.
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Beginning of the conversation with PRC President Xi Jinping
President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping (retranslated): Good afternoon.
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, I am happy to see you.
Xi Jinping: I am also very happy.
President Putin, my dear old friend, I am very happy to hold this meeting with you via videoconference. This year, Sino-Russian relations of all-round partnership and strategic cooperation, which have entered a new era, have withstood the test of various risks and challenges, and have invariably maintained the trends of dynamic development.
We provide firm mutual support to each other on matters touching upon our topical interests, we implement fruitful strategic cooperation, and we effectively protect our common interests. At the same time, the quality of bilateral practical cooperation and its volume continue to increase, and its inner force and development potential are ever more evident.
Both sides maintain close cooperation and coordination in international affairs, and their efforts serve to assert genuine multilateralism and international justice.
Now that the world has entered a period of major turbulence and considering various risks facing humankind, close Sino-Russian cooperation fills the international community with positive energy and sets an example in forming a new type of international relations. We highly value this.
In slightly over 10 days we will celebrate a landmark event, the 20th anniversary of the Sino-Russian Treaty on Good-Neighbourliness and Friendly Cooperation.
The dynamic growth of ties between China and Russia over the past 20 years is vivid proof of the fact that the idea of Sino-Russian friendship across generations, which is sealed in the Treaty, serves the fundamental interests of our two nations and is in keeping with the key message of the current period, which is peaceful development. This process is proof of the evolution of a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind.
Today we will adopt a joint statement, in which we will officially announce the extension of the Treaty. We will produce a comprehensive summary of our successful experience of maintaining a purposeful, energetic and sustainable development course in Sino-Russian relations.
Furthermore, we will map out new tasks and goals for the further development of the entire range of our bilateral ties and will give the Treaty a modern meaning. I am confident that China and Russia, acting in accordance with the spirit of the Treaty, despite any difficulties and trials that may lie ahead, will act wholeheartedly, in mind and spirit, to strengthen our cooperation and to move forward with confidence.
We will be soon celebrating the centenary of the CPC [Communist Party of China]. It will be the most important event in the political life of the country this year and a common celebration for the entire nation. We will hold numerous celebratory events associated with July 1.
You have sent a warm message of greetings. Rosarkhiv [Federal Archival Agency of Russia] has provided valuable historical archives related to the early period in the history of the CPC. China is sincerely grateful for the greetings and support from our good neighbour and real partner. Thank you.
This concludes my opening remarks. Thank you.
Vladimir Putin: President Xi Jinping, dear friend,
I am happy to see you. The complicated situation caused by the coronavirus has prevented us from holding an in-person meeting, but we – our colleagues and you and I – continue working and maintaining contact.
This is indeed a special year for Russian-Chinese relations, as you have pointed out. Twenty years ago, on June 16, 2001, the Treaty on Good-Neighbourliness and Friendly Cooperation between the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China was signed in Moscow.
The Treaty has indeed become the fundamental international legal document that has largely predetermined the current level of Russian-Chinese relations. It absorbed centuries of positive experience of the development of ties between our states and fully reflects the deep historical traditions of good-neighbourliness and friendship between the Russian and Chinese peoples.
This document confirms such principled agreements as mutual support in protecting state unity and territorial integrity, a pledge not to be the first to use nuclear weapons and not to target strategic missiles at each other, respect for the sovereign right to choose one’s social order and development path, as well as non-interference in each other’s domestic affairs. These agreements have major significance in the modern world.
It is important that the document establishes the absence of mutual territorial claims and both countries’ determination to turn their common border into a belt of eternal peace and friendship.
We have accomplished a lot to this end, including work on the border issue. We and our teams have worked on this issue for years, and we have achieved the desired result, acceptable for both China and Russia.
Today, while honouring the Treaty’s letter and spirit, we have managed to elevate Russian-Chinese relations to an unprecedented height and to make them an example of 21st century interstate cooperation.
We have created an unprecedented multi-level mechanism of bilateral coordination that includes regular contacts between leaders and meetings between heads of government, five inter-governmental commissions at the level of deputy prime ministers and dialogue formats between parliaments and regional associations. All this makes it possible to effectively address any issues arising during bilateral cooperation and to plan long-term joint work.
The Treaty created a solid foundation for expanded trade and economic cooperation. Mutual trade volumes have soared 14 times over since 2001. They continue to expand despite global financial crises and the current COVID-19 pandemic. We can now see steady positive trends. In January-April, mutual trade volumes grew by over 22 percent. One can therefore hope that new record-breaking trade indicators will be posted in late 2021.
We are successfully implementing a number of projects in the aerospace and automotive industries, and in the mining and timber sectors. Bilateral energy partnership has assumed a strategic scale. The Russian-Chinese oil pipeline and the Power of Siberia gas pipeline are operating successfully.
Cooperation on the peaceful use of nuclear energy has reached entirely new levels. Financial cooperation, including the use of national currencies in bilateral settlements, is becoming stronger.
Humanitarian ties are expanding. We have held an entire series of themed cross years of Russia in China and China in Russia. This includes the years of national languages, tourism, youth exchanges, media outlets and inter-regional cooperation.
Over the past two decades, we have managed to significantly increase foreign policy cooperation, which we regard as one of the key components of our strategic partnership.
Amid the growing geopolitical turbulence, the disruption of arms control agreements, and swelling conflict potential in various parts of the world, Russian-Chinese coordination is playing a stabilising role in global affairs, also influencing the most acute problems on the international agenda, such as settling the conflicts on the Korean Peninsula, in Syria and Afghanistan and reviving the plan of action for the Iranian nuclear programme.
We are active on the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation platform. The organisation will mark its 20th anniversary this year. We are contributing to the formation of a polycentric international order on the BRICS platform.
In accordance with our agreement, a joint statement has been prepared for the anniversary of the Treaty; you just mentioned this. The joint statement reflects the unique role of this legal instrument in shaping the current model of Russian-Chinese relations and their importance for the establishment of a more just international order.
The statement also announces that, in accordance with the respective article of the Treaty, it will be automatically extended in February 2022 for the next five years.
I would like to take this opportunity to personally wish you all the best on another major occasion you just mentioned – the 100th anniversary of the Communist Party of China. China is celebrating this anniversary with new achievements in its socioeconomic development as well as on the international arena.
The Soviet Union vigorously supported the Chinese communists in their revolutionary struggle and rendered significant assistance to party and statehood development during the formation of the new China.
Russia is preserving the memory of the glorious pages of our common history. Moscow has a museum dedicated to the 6th Congress of the Communist Party of China held here in 1928. It is true that at the request of our Chinese colleagues our archives agency has prepared a selection of materials related to the period of the emergence of the communist movement in China.
Party ties are an important component of the entire range of our bilateral relations. I hope that the further expansion of the dialogue between the Chinese Communist Party and leading Russian political parties will help deepen even more the interaction, mutual understanding and trust between our countries.
Thank you very much.