Braving Myriad Tribulations and Beatings, We Still Stand Our Ground
--State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi Talks About President Xi Jinping's State Visit to Russia and Attendance at the 23rd St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF)

From June 5 to 7, 2019, President Xi Jinping paid a state visit to Russia and attended the 23rd St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) upon invitation. At the end of the visit, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi briefed the accompanying reporters on the visit.

Wang Yi said that at the historical point marking the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Russia and at a crucial time of major changes rarely seen in a century, President Xi Jinping's visit to Russia inherits the past and ushers in the future, having a far-reaching impact. During the visit, President Xi Jinping and President Vladimir Putin made in-depth plans for all-round cooperation between the two countries, leading China-Russia relations into a new era. At the SPIEF, President Xi Jinping made incisive statement concerning sustainable development, promoting international cooperation to embark on a new journey. This visit released a clear signal that the consensus on deepening mutual trust and coordination between the two countries is unbreakable and that China's belief in mutual benefit and win-win results is unshakable, which adds stability to major country relations, injects new vitality into global development, and adds positive force to the international community.

In less than 3 days, President Xi Jinping visited Moscow and St. Petersburg and attended nearly 20 events, covering both bilateral and multilateral fields such as politics, economy and culture. Fruitful results have been yielded in friendship enhancement, consensus gathering and cooperation promotion. The public at home and abroad is highly concerned about this visit, holding that as a responsible major country, China upholds mutual trust, harmony, and common interests in foreign exchanges, and has won strong and wide support in the international community.

1. Give play to the leading role of the heads of state and open a new era of China-Russia relations

Wang Yi said that thanks to the close contacts and strategic leadership of the two heads of state, China-Russia relations have made great progress in recent years and entered the best period in history. It is President Xi Jinping's eighth visit to Russia since he was elected Chinese president, and his first state visit following his re-election as Chinese president, which received warm welcome from President Vladimir Putin. In addition to the formal talks of different sizes, the two heads of state also met in St. Petersburg for a long talk in which they had full exchange of views on the overall, long-term and strategic issues of bilateral relations and the international situation in a highly trusted, intimate and friendly atmosphere. At the Bolshoi Theatre of Russia that witnesses the long-standing friendship between China and Russia, President Xi Jinping, together with President Vladimir Putin, attended and addressed a gathering marking the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the two countries. In the speech, Xi Jinping reviewed the history, summarized experience, and drew a blueprint for the future. The two heads of state signed a joint statement, announcing to develop a comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era to promote the bilateral relations to keep pace with the times and advance the upgrading of bilateral relations to a higher level. The joint statement is the most important political achievement during the visit. President Xi Jinping viewed the position and future development of China-Russia relations from a strategic and macro perspective. He stressed that we should build strategic support for each other based on mutual trust; we should deepen the convergence of interests to realize common revitalization; we should promote people-to-people bonds to enhance the foundation of the ever-lasting friendship; and we should be more responsible for safeguarding world peace. These important propositions received complete agreement from President Vladimir Putin. The political consensus reached by the two heads of state will lead China-Russia relations into a new era to realize greater development at a higher level. If countries have the same views on cooperation, then their relations can be well maintained despite the distance. The past 70 years have witnessed China and Russia, as major and neighboring countries in the world, succeeded in exploring a right way to get along with each other. And the relations between China and Russia are becoming increasingly mature, stable and resilient, presenting new atmosphere and new features, and setting a paradigm for building a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, fairness, justice, and win-win cooperation.

2. Consolidate the advantages of political mutual trust and lift the level of China-Russia coordination

In today's relations with major countries, China-Russia relations feature the highest degree of mutual trust and the highest level of strategic coordination, thus making a key contribution to preserving world peace and stability. In today's world of rapid changes, mounting unilateralism and hegemony, China and Russia face increasing external risks and common challenges from outside. From a global perspective, President Xi Jinping stressed that China and Russia are good neighbors that cannot be moved away and true partners that cannot be separated, as they were before and will be in the future. The two sides should stick together as good neighbors and render each other even stronger support as well as stand together more closely and firmly. President Vladimir Putin expressed that the more complex and volatile the international situation is, the more Russia and China should consolidate and deepen political mutual trust, and enhance coordination and cooperation in international affairs. The two countries should not be complacent about what they have achieved, but be dedicated to bettering their bilateral relations. The two sides agreed to deepen political mutual trust, strengthen strategic communication, increase mutual support, and firmly grasp the strategic direction of the development of China-Russia relations. China and Russia should uphold fairness and justice, the morality of responsibility, embody the righteousness, and firmly defend the international system with the United Nations (UN) as the core and international law as the foundation. The two heads of state had an in-depth exchange of views on major international and regional issues and signed a joint statement on strengthening global strategic stability, sending the world a strong message of China and Russia to jointly address challenges in the field of strategic security, strengthen strategic coordination on regional security hotspot issues, and promote multi-polarization and democratization of international relations, highlighting the high level of the bilateral relations and the special, strategic and global feature of the bilateral cooperation. Facts have proved that strengthening solidarity and coordination between China and Russia is a strategic choice for the long-term stability, development and revitalization of the two sides. It is a realistic need to maintain global strategic stability and a balanced international force. It is in line with the fundamental interests of the two countries and the international community. It is does not target any third party, nor will it be provoked or interfered by any third party. Strengthening solidarity and coordination is unstoppable, and its role is irreplaceable, and its prospects are limitless.

3. Carry forward the tradition of good-neighborliness and friendship, and tighten the bond of interests between China and Russia

President Xi Jinping, together with President Vladimir Putin and Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, comprehensively projected China-Russia practical and friendly cooperation, planned top-level design, outlined specific arrangements, and agreed to further promote the alignment of the two countries' development strategies, and deepen the integration of their development interests and people-to-people exchanges in the spirit of pioneering innovation, mutual benefit and win-win outcomes. The two sides will continue to align the Belt and Road Initiative and the Eurasian Economic Union, and support each other in jointly building the Belt and Road Initiative and the initiative to forge a greater Eurasian partnership, in a bid to jointly promote regional integration and regional economic integrated development. The two sides will continue to promote major strategic projects, tap into the potential for cooperation in emerging fields, give play to the complementary advantages of local economies, and therefore upgrade economic and trade cooperation so that it will improve in both quality and quantity. Both sides will promote two-way trade to reach 200 billion US dollars. The two heads of state together visited an exhibition of cars rolled off from Great Wall Motors' plant in Russia's Tula, and proposed guiding opinions on the China-Russia Energy Business Forum to deepen energy cooperation. In this year, the two heads of state will also witness by video the completion and operation ceremony of the east-route of the China-Russia natural gas pipeline, known as "a project of the century". The two sides agreed to hold the China-Russia year of scientific and technological innovation from 2020 to 2021, in a bid to jointly improve their independent research and development capabilities. The two heads of state also consolidated in person the public opinion foundation of the everlasting friendship between the two peoples. After witnessing Tsinghua University's award of an honorary doctorate to President Vladimir Putin in this April, President Xi Jinping, during his visit to Russia, accepted an honorary doctorate from St. Petersburg State University, President Vladimir Putin's alma mater, which wrote another episode of exchanges between Chinese and Russian heads of state, as well as in the fields of people-to-people exchanges and education. The two heads of state attended the opening ceremony of the panda house in the Moscow Zoo and introduced the two pandas as the messengers of friendship to the Russian people, which became a highlight of the series of activities celebrating the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Russia. The two heads of state also witnessed the signing of nearly 30 bilateral cooperation documents in a wide range of fields such as economy and trade, energy, science and technology, aerospace, agriculture and education, demonstrating that the landscape of the comprehensive and multi-tiered China-Russia mutually beneficial cooperation that covers various fields gradually comes into being and will better benefit the two countries and the two peoples.

4. Expound on the proposal of cooperation on development, and show China's responsibility

The SPIEF is an important platform for the international community to share views on global economic development. The theme of this year's forum is "Creating a Sustainable Development Agenda", which is of important practical significance. President Xi Jinping pointed out that sustainable development is the "golden key" to solving global problems, and the best entry point to cooperation for the best shared interests worldwide. Focusing on the three major tasks of economic growth, social development and environmental protection as defined in the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, President Xi Jinping systematically elaborated on the proposal to strengthen international cooperation on development. First, President Xi Jinping called on all parties to stick to the principle of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, and work together to create an open and diverse world economy. Second, we should stick to the practice of putting people first, and strive to build a happy society that is inclusive and benefits all. Third, we should stick to the pursuit of green development, and commit to building a beautiful homeland with harmonious coexistence between human and nature. President Xi Jinping stressed that China will continue to expand opening up, uphold the multilateral trading system, and carry out trade cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual respect. China is willing to share its latest scientific achievements, including 5G technology with other countries, and promote communication and cooperation in such topics as poverty reduction and social security. China will pay more attention to environmental protection and ecological conservation in cooperation with other countries, and join hands to tackle global climate change and other urgent issues. President Xi Jinping pointed out that the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative is highly compatible with the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. It is necessary to promote effective alignment and synergy between the two to create more opportunities for developing countries. President Xi Jinping's frank and firm speech from a strategic perspective has effectively boosted the international community's confidence in the prospects of sustainable development in China and the world. It is widely held that China has been putting its own development in the context of global development, trying to achieve universal benefits through positive interactions with other countries instead of pursuing selfishness or playing a zero-sum game. China will continue to provide market, add momentum and create opportunities for the world economy.

In the end, Wang Yi said that this year marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China. Over the past seven decades, the Chinese diplomacy, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, has travelled a great journey and achieved remarkable success. Looking at today's world, the trend of peace and cooperation is going forward. Multi-polarization and economic globalization are irreversible. At the same time, new issues and challenges are emerging with increasing uncertainties. The journey of Chinese diplomacy will not be calm. It will encounter various difficulties and obstacles. The road ahead of us will not be easy. In such an age of turbulence, China will follow the guidance of Xi Jinping Thought on Diplomacy, make unremitting efforts, fear no challenge or difficulties, and always stand on the right side of the history and for the common interests of most countries, to promote the building of a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind, and open up new prospects for China's diplomacy in the new era, and make more significant and new contributions to the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation as well as the promotion of world peace and development.

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