Political wisdom, desire for peace consolidate China-Russia ties
Published: Mar 21, 2023 04:13 PM
China-Russia Photo: VCG

China-Russia Photo: VCG

The ongoing visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Russia is by far one of the most discussed events in the Russian media these days. People expect something unusual from it, draw parallels, and make forecasts, mainly in a positive way. Two topics are the most discussed.

The first is the date of the visit. Experts highlight and highly appreciate the fact that Xi's trip to Moscow is his first foreign visit after his re-election to the presidency of the People's Republic of China. This fact is unambiguously interpreted as a designation of the highest level and quality of bilateral relations. Parallels are drawn with Xi's trip to Moscow in March 2013, which exactly coincides in dates with the current visit, and conclusions are drawn about traditions and symbols in Chinese politics and Russian-Chinese relations.

A second aspect follows the first one: What will this new summit bring? Diplomats managed to maintain a sense of intrigue. Whatever decisions are made, they will definitely be called important and breakthrough. Knowledgeable people recall the statements of Chinese leaders made a year ago that there is no limit in Russian-Chinese relations. And many wonder how far these boundaries will be moved.

Obviously, it's not about symbolism, although it does matter. There are serious issues that can and should be solved at the highest level only. They concern both bilateral relations and issues of global and regional politics, cooperation and competition, security, and trust.

We will find out what documents will be signed and what decisions will be made very soon. I would like to talk about expectations, what we would like to see at the end of the visit, and what objective reality requires.

A few facts need to be ascertained as a background.

First, crisis phenomena in world affairs (pandemic, political turbulence, and economic instability) have led to the strengthening of political and expansion of economic exchanges between Russia and China. The trade turnover between the two countries has grown significantly over the past two years and continues to grow, primarily due to successful cooperation in the energy sector.

Second, not economic interests, but political wisdom and the desire for peace and stability along the long border are the basis of the strategic partnership between our countries. These foundations require rethinking, improvement, and filling with new content that is adequate to the challenges of the time.

Third, the situation throughout the world has become significantly more complicated for both Russia and China. It requires qualitatively new assessments and non-standard solutions. These assessments and decisions will be fateful, the cost of a mistake is exceptionally high, and therefore they require common brainstorming, a clear vision of perspective, mutual agreement, trust, and determination. In the 10 years since March 2013, China, Russia, and the world have changed dramatically. China has formed and is actively promoting its own global development agenda. Russia is embroiled in a direct confrontation with the West and has tested its strength. 

Fourth, reaching a new level of relations is possible with the synchronization of actions in the field of bilateral relations and foreign policy. Economic cooperation between Russia and China should reach a new level based on industrial cooperation, advanced technologies, breakthrough scientific solutions, social stability, and ideological security.

It also means that it is time to break down bottlenecks and solve problems that have long been talked about and that have not been solved in any way: the development of industrial cooperation, an increase in investment, the modernization of border infrastructure, and much more. The time has come not only to state the importance of solving these problems, but also to create appropriate mechanisms for this, not so much bureaucratic, which are already plentiful, but legal, financial, and technological.

I would like to see the same breakthrough in global politics. A United Front for Peace, Freedom, and Democracy, uniting all countries, peoples, movements, international organizations, and public figures led by China and Russia are needed now. I hope Хi's visit to Moscow is not just a visit of the leader of one state to another. It's much more than that.

The author is an Academician and principal researcher at the Russian Academy of Sciences. opinion@globaltimes.com.cn