As the curtain fell on the "Year of China" in Russia in Moscow yesterday, the prospects for continuing the momentum of the Sino-Russian strategic partnership by increasing cooperation and exchanges in all sectors never looked better.
There are ample reasons for the two countries to build upon what they have already achieved. As Russian President Putin told his Chinese counterpart, President Hu Jintao, in September during their fifth meeting this year: "We have achieved a peak in Russian-Chinese relations in recent times."
Both countries are striving to develop the economic and social prospects of their people.
Both have cooperated on efforts to resolve thorny international issues such as the nuclear programs on the Korean Peninsula and in Iran and to combat the "three evil forces" of terrorism, separatism and extremism.
The warm relations have come quite naturally. The two countries share a border that stretches more than 4,300 km and have had regular exchanges going back for centuries. As it took its infant steps, New China relied much on the support, assistance and training from its big neighbor in the north, who also helped lay the foundation for China's industrial development.
True, there have been times when the two countries have been at odds. But those upsets and the gains in the past decade only demonstrate how important it is for the two countries to maintain high-level exchanges and deepen trust, expand cooperation and increase people-to-people exchanges.
It is encouraging that the two countries' leaders had the farsightedness to embrace the concept of "friendship for generations" with the signing of the Sino-Russian Good-Neighborly Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation.
The sound and stable growth of bilateral Sino-Russian relations will help not only guarantee the continuous development of the two countries, but also contribute to world peace and stability.
(China Daily November 7, 2007)