China, Russia pledge strong mutual support on issues concerning core interests

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Aerial photo taken on May 21, 2020 shows workers at the construction site of the Changling-Yongqing section of the China-Russia east-route natural gas pipeline in Pengdianzi Township of Qian'an City, north China's Hebei province. [Photo/Xinhua]

China and Russia pledged on Friday to firmly support each other on issues concerning the core interests of the two countries.

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov made the pledge in a phone conversation, saying the two countries remain unswervingly committed to upholding international fairness and justice and safeguarding world peace and stability.

Wang said the all-weather China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era has withstood numerous changes in the international landscape, emphasizing that China and Russia have always firmly supported each other on issues concerning their core interests.

Wang noted that the guidance of the heads of state is the fundamental guarantee for bilateral relations to develop in a steady and sustained way and enjoy long-lasting vitality.

Last month, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin witnessed together via video link the ground-breaking ceremony of a China-Russia nuclear energy cooperation project, which injected strong "nuclear impetus" into the development of bilateral relations, Wang said.

He urged the two sides to focus on the 20th anniversary of the signing of the China-Russia Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation, prepare for upcoming key high-level exchanges, fully implement the important consensus reached by the two heads of state, and advance cooperation in various fields in a coordinated manner in the post-pandemic era.

The two sides should work to translate their high-level political mutual trust and traditional friendship into more cooperation achievements, aiming for an ever closer and down-to-earth relationship and setting a fine example of developing a new type of relations between major countries, Wang said.

Noting the all-round China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era, Wang said that both sides should make joint efforts to continuously expand mutually beneficial and win-win cooperation between China and Russia in various fields.

Since the beginning of this year, bilateral pragmatic cooperation has got off to a good start and moved forward despite headwinds, demonstrating a strong momentum of development, he said.

Bilateral trade volume exceeded 40 billion U.S. dollars in the first four months, up 19.8 percent year-on-year and on track to a record high for the whole year, he added.

Recalling that the construction of four nuclear power units kicked off smoothly not long ago, and that the two sides reached consensus on building an international lunar research station, Wang said these major achievements have become important symbols of China-Russia all-round cooperation.

China and Russia have made remarkable achievements in jointly fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, setting a good example for global anti-virus cooperation, Wang said, while cautioning against complacency in the face of a new wave of virus transmission.

The Chinese diplomat called on both sides to further expand professional and technical cooperation in pandemic prevention and control, strengthen coordination between the two countries' professional departments over unified testing standards, data and information sharing, joint scientific research, border pandemic prevention and control, as well as mutual recognition of health certificates for international travel, and jointly respond to challenges in the post-pandemic era.

Wang said that Russia has upheld justice on international and multilateral occasions to support China's legitimate position, in response to a smear campaign against China by the United States and some other Western countries and their gross intervention in China's internal affairs by manipulating human rights-related topics.

Wang recalled the virtual meeting of foreign ministers of the BRICS countries days earlier, saying China highly appreciates that during the meeting, Lavrov once again spoke up for China on the issue of coronavirus origin-tracing, slamming the U.S.-led West for fabricating lies and slandering.

He stressed that China will also provide full political support for Russia to safeguard its own legitimate rights and interests.

The United States has sought a clique under the guise of democracy, meddled in other countries' internal affairs under the pretext of human rights, and pursued a path of unilateralism in the name of multilateralism, Wang said.

As responsible major countries and permanent members of the United Nations (UN) Security Council, China and Russia should work together to expose and oppose these perverse practices, firmly maintain the international system with the UN at its core and the international order based on international law, uphold international fairness and justice and safeguard world peace and stability, Wang said.

For his part, Lavrov said that the Russia-China comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era has advanced vigorously and achieved fruitful results, and the Russian side is satisfied with the high level of the two countries' relations.

Lavrov noted a series of activities held by both countries to mark the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Russia-China Treaty of Good-neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation, saying they will further solidify public and social support for the friendship between the two countries.

Russia will work together with China to earnestly implement the consensus reached between the two countries' heads of state, support efforts to synergize the Eurasian Economic Union and the Belt and Road, and proactively advance bilateral cooperation in various fields, so as to add new dimensions to Russia-China good neighborliness and friendship, he added.

Facing the severe challenges of the pandemic, Russia hopes to strengthen anti-virus cooperation with China, optimize customs clearance process, speed up the transportation of goods, and jointly enhance the safe and efficient operation of ports, with the aim to boost economic recovery, Lavrov said.

Russia is willing to keep close strategic coordination with China on international and regional issues, firmly support each other on issues concerning their core interests, resolutely oppose hegemonism, unswervingly support multilateralism, jointly safeguard world peace and stability and uphold international fairness and justice, the Russian foreign minister said.

The two senior diplomats also exchanged in-depth views, coordinated positions and reached broad consensus over a series of international and regional issues of common concern.

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