Xi, Putin cement ties in Moscow

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Chinese President Xi Jinping (L) and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin attend a gathering marking the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the China-Russia diplomatic relations at the Bolshoi Theater of Russia in Moscow June 5, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

China and Russia should treasure the valuable mutual trust established by both sides "just as we cherish our own eyes", President Xi Jinping said during his state visit to Russia on Wednesday.

Xi made the remarks alongside Russian President Vladimir Putin while addressing a gathering in Moscow celebrating the 70th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Solid mutual political trust is the most significant characteristic of Sino-Russian relations, of which firm mutual support is the core value, Xi said.

The gathering was held after Xi and Putin signed an agreement to upgrade bilateral relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era.

Addressing an audience at the famous Bolshoi Theatre, Xi said that the China-Russia relationship in the new era should be built upon mutual trust and strong strategic support, and called on the two countries to have candid and in-depth communication and exchanges on major issues such as fundamental principles, policies of domestic and external affairs, and development strategies.

He said the two sides should better support each other on issues concerning their respective core interests, keep a steady hand on the strategic direction of bilateral relations and say no to interference or sabotage by anyone regarding their bilateral ties.

Xi pointed out that China and Russia should deepen integration of common interests and enhance connections in the new era of China-Russia relations.

As both China and Russia are at critical periods of development, Xi said that the two nations should join hands to achieve prosperity together.

The two countries will continue to connect the Belt and Road with the Eurasian Economic Union, promote the implementation of major strategic projects and tap the potential of cooperation in emerging areas, Xi said.

Xi also highlighted the importance of strengthening people-to-people exchanges, saying that more activities in education, culture, sports, tourism, media and youth areas will be launched to bring the people's hearts together and let the traditional friendship continue.

In his speech, Xi said that China and Russia, both major countries and permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, should work together with the international community to firmly safeguard the international system with the UN at its core, and promote multipolarization of the world and democratization of international relations while building a more prosperous, stable and fair world.

Earlier in the day, Xi and Putin signed two joint declarations — one to upgrade bilateral relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era and the other to strengthen global strategic stability.

According to the joint statement on the strategic partnership, the China-Russian relationship has entered a new era, and is facing new opportunities for greater development.

The statement said that the goal of such a new kind of partnership is for both sides to give more support to each other as they seek to take their own development paths, preserve respective core interests and protect sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Therefore, the two sides will closely coordinate with each other in aligning their development strategies, expanding mutually beneficial cooperation in economics, trade and investment, and further tapping into the potential of bilateral ties.

In his talks with Putin, Xi noted that this is his first state visit to Russia following his reelection as Chinese president last year, and is the eighth time he traveled to the country since 2013.

The China-Russia relationship is seeing a continuous, steady and sound development at a high level, and is at its best in history, Xi said.

China and Russia have played active roles in international affairs and global governance, and made important contributions to maintaining world peace and stability as well as international fairness and justice, Xi said.

Acknowledging that the world is undergoing profound changes unseen in a century, Xi said China and Russia shoulder even greater expectations from the peoples of the two countries and the international community.

Noting that the world today is becoming increasingly uncertain and unstable, Xi said enhancing the China-Russia relationship is the call of history, and a firm strategic choice by both sides.

Putin warmly welcomed Xi on his visit, saying that with joint efforts from both sides since the establishment of diplomatic ties 70 years ago, the Russia-China relationship has reached an unprecedented high level, and the two countries' all-round exchanges and cooperation have been fruitful.

The Russia-China comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination has not only benefited the two peoples, but has also become an important force for safeguarding global security and strategic stability, he said.

Xi's visit is of great significance in the complicated and volatile international situation, and it will inject strong impetus into the development of Russia-China ties in the new era, Putin said.

Russia and China should continue to strengthen coordination on major international and regional issues, jointly deal with the challenges of unilateralism and protectionism and maintain global peace and stability.

The Russian leader said his country is committed to deepening cooperation with China in the fields of economy and trade, agriculture, finance, science and technology, environmental protection, telecommunications and infrastructure construction.

Putin also said Russia is ready to provide China with sufficient oil and gas, and export more agricultural products to China, and he expects a faster alignment between the Eurasian Economic Union and the BRI.

Also at the meeting, Xi and Putin were briefed by officials from both countries on bilateral cooperation in priority areas, and they exchanged views on the Korean Peninsula situation, the Iran nuclear issue and the Venezuela issue, among others.

The two leaders, after their meeting, also witnessed the signing of a number of cooperation documents, met with the media, visited an exhibition of cars produced by Great Wall Motor's plant in Russia's Tula region, and attended the inauguration ceremony of the panda house in Moscow Zoo.

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