Commentary: Treaty Opens New Chapter for Sino-Russian Relations

Chinese President Jiang Zemin and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, signed Monday in Moscow a good- neighborly treaty of friendship and cooperation, opening up a new chapter for the Sino-Russian relations.

This treaty will initiate a new era for Sino-Russian relations and boost the long-term, stable and sound development of bilateral ties.

The treaty covers a wide range of major issues. It stipulates that the new-type Sino-Russian relations are based on the five principles of peaceful co-existence, or mutual respect to sovereignty and territorial integrity, mutual non-aggression, non- interference into each other's internal affairs and peaceful co- existence.

The treaty also stipulates the principles and directions for future bilateral cooperation in the fields of politics, economy, trade, science and technology, culture and international issues.

The treaty provides political and legal basis for the two countries in developing sound and stable bilateral relations and strategic partnership in the new century.

The Sino-Russian relations experienced both alignment and confrontation during the 20th century for historical reasons. Following the Cold War, the leaders of the two countries decided to create a new-type interstate relationship after judging the development and change of the international situation. The decision, proceeding from the strategic needs of both countries, also meets their common wishes to promote world peace and development.

Since then, the two countries have enjoyed rapid progress in bilateral relations. They established strategic partnership in 1996, which has brought up fruitful achievements in boosting mutually beneficial cooperation in all spheres.

The two sides set up a mechanism of regular visits between heads of state and heads of government, which also promote the frequent personnel exchange at all levels. They support each other in handling issues related to sovereignty, national independence and territorial integrity and have solved the border problems left by history. The bilateral cooperation in the fields of economy and trade, science and technology as well as culture and education has also expanded.

In addition, the two countries have enhanced cooperation in international arenas and conducted effective strategic collaboration in promoting world multi-polarization and in safeguarding global peace and stability.

The treaty legalizes the concept of peace featuring a friendship from generation to generation and never targeting each other as enemies, brightening a broader prospect for Sino-Russian relations.

The Chinese and Russian peoples have developed a deep traditional friendship and share the common wish to develop friendship from generation to generation. This aspiration is not only the foundation for long-term development of good- neighborliness, friendship and cooperation between the two countries, but also the strong impetus for full-scale cooperation in all spheres.

The signing of the treaty shows the world the willingness and determination of the Chinese and Russian peoples to be good neighbors, good partners and good friends.

The treaty not only benefits the long-term, sound and stable development of bilateral relations, but also produces deep impact on safeguarding peace and stability in the region and in the entire world.

China and Russia are both influential countries shouldering an important task of safeguarding world peace and stability. Their efforts in strengthening good-neighborliness, friendship and strategic partnership will promote regional and world peace.

As the trend of political multi-polarization and economic globalization is strengthening, some new and complicated elements are emerging. The Cold War mentality, hegemonism and power politics have not exited the international stage, and the international strategic balance and stability are facing challenges with regional clashes breaking out one after another.

The mutually beneficial cooperation and strategic collaboration between Russia and China are of great significance under the new circumstance, as they serve not only the fundamental interests of both peoples but also the peace and security of the Asian-pacific region and the whole world.

The two countries should further enhance consultation, dialogue and collaboration on global affairs and make joint efforts to create a new world with peace, development, democracy and prosperity.

The treaty has laid a political foundation for the long-term development of Sino-Russian relations. Undoubtedly, China and Russia will set a good example for friendly neighborhood if they firmly adhere to the treaty.

(People’s Daily 07/16/2001)

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