MOSCOW — This year marks the 15th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation between China and Russia and the 20th anniversary of the establishment of strategic cooperative partnership between the two nations.
Relations between China and Russia have entered a new historical period of all-round, accelerated and healthy development with in-depth cooperation in various fields.
The active cooperation between China and Russia has been built on a solid foundation, which enables the two countries to go forward with confidence and open new horizons in the development of friendly relations.
During his visit to Moscow in May 2015, President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin signed joint declarations on deepening the two sides’ comprehensive partnership and cooperation within the framework of the initiative on the construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).
This development marks a new historic start in the development of bilateral relations, which has pointed out the direction for not only further deepening of bilateral cooperation, but also development and prosperity across the Eurasia region.
After more than a year since the signing of the declarations, China and the EAEU have established close contacts and initiated a large-scale research.
The Supreme Eurasian Economic Council has adopted at its recent meeting a resolution on the initiation of formal negotiations with China, which was a significant step toward the alignment of the Belt and Road Initiative with the EAEU.
It can be expected that the start of constructive cooperation and rapid elaboration of a systemic trade and investment plan will give a new impetus to the development of economic and trade ties of China with Russia as well as with the EAEU at large.
If China and Russia can successfully align their national development initiatives with each other, they will be able to fully reveal the enormous hidden potential of mutual complementarity of their economies, which will not only be in the interest of developing China’s western regions and Russia’s Far East, but will also contribute to the economic recovery of Russia and economic transformation of China.
The quality of economic and trade cooperation between China and Russia has been constantly improving in recent years.
China has become the biggest trading partner to Russia and an important source of foreign investment in the country, while Russia is one of China’s main sources of imports of energy and high technology.
Despite the impact of certain external factors and a reduction in overall trade volume in recent years, the scope and quality of bilateral trade have not decreased in any way, but rather increased.
Last year, China imported over 40 million tons of crude oil from Russia, a 28 percent increase from the previous year. China’s imports of Russian industrial equipment and high-tech products grew by 32.1 percent and 34.2 percent, respectively.
New areas of cooperation, like cross-border electronic trade, are also gaining traction with Russia becoming the second largest player in cross-border e-commerce with China.
This gives a significant boost to the development of trade and economy of both sides, and enriches the livelihood of the peoples of both nations.
In addition, major strategic projects between China and Russia, including the Eastern Route pipeline, cooperation in satellite navigation systems and joint development and production of long-haul wide-body aircraft, have greatly promoted the development of high technologies, bringing tangible benefits to the two peoples.
Along with the deepening cooperation, the social foundation for China-Russia relations has been further strengthened.
Successful activities have been held such as reciprocal years of languages, tourism, friendly youth and media exchanges, mutual visits of diplomats, journalists, students and so on, as well as jointly-conducted art festivals, film weeks and media forums, with the aim of further strengthening mutual understanding and friendship.
The development of China-Russia relations is inseparably linked with the strategic aspirations of the leaders of both countries.
For years, the two sides have effectively implemented a mechanism of regular meetings between their government heads and numerous committees, subcommittees and working groups, which have covered almost all areas of bilateral cooperation.
The visit by Premier Li Keqiang to Russia for the 21st regular meeting of Chinese and Russian government heads will be an opportunity for bilateral strategic cooperation at a higher level to bring about even more substantial results.