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FULL LETTER: Xi Jinping discusses friendship between China and Russia

I will shortly travel to the Russian Federation on a state visit at President Vladimir Putin's invitation. I traveled to Russia for the first time after being elected president ten years ago. I've been to Russia eight times in the last ten years. Every time, I came with high expectations and left with successful outcomes, starting a new chapter in relations between China and Russia with President Putin.

I will shortly travel to the Russian Federation on a state visit at President Vladimir Putin’s invitation. I traveled to Russia for the first time after being elected president ten years ago. I’ve been to Russia eight times in the last ten years. Every time, I came with high expectations and left with successful outcomes, starting a new chapter in relations between China and Russia with President Putin.

Russia and China are each other’s closest neighbor and most important strategic coordinating partner. In addition to being permanent members of the UN Security Council, we are both significant nations in the globe. Both nations uphold autonomous foreign policies and place a great importance on our partnership when it comes to diplomacy.

There is a clear historical logic and strong internal driving force for the growth of China-Russia relations. Over the past 10 years, we have come a long way in our wide-ranging cooperation and made significant strides into the new era.

— The direction of China-Russian ties has been largely shaped by high-level meetings. We have put in place a wide range of platforms for high-level conversations and multifaceted collaboration that offer crucial institutional and systemic safeguards for the development of the bilateral ties. I’ve kept up a close working relationship with President Putin throughout the years. On both bilateral and international engagements, we have met 40 times. In order to provide strong stewardship for the sustained, sound, and stable growth of China-Russia relations, we have jointly drafted the blueprint for the bilateral relations and cooperation in a number of fields, and we have timely communicated on significant international and regional issues of shared interest.

— Our two sides have improved major-country ties and strengthened their political mutual trust. China and Russia are committed to no-alliance, no-confrontation, and not targeting any third party in building our relations. We are both driven by a vision of enduring friendship and win-win cooperation. We strongly support one another in choosing a development path that is appropriate for our unique national realities and we encourage each other’s growth and renewal. The two countries’ relationship has strengthened and become more mature. It sets a great example for creating a new model of major-country relations that emphasizes mutual trust, peaceful coexistence, and win-win cooperation. It is bursting with new vigor and vitality.

— A comprehensive structure for cooperation with several tiers has been established by our two parties. Due to the combined efforts of the two countries, trade between China and Russia surpassed 190 billion dollars last year, an increase of 116% from 10 years prior. For the past 13 years, China has been Russia’s top commercial partner. Our two-way investment has steadily increased. Our collaboration on important initiatives is progressing steadily in areas like energy, aviation, space, and communications. Our joint efforts in cross-border e-commerce, scientific and technological innovation, and other developing fields are moving very quickly. Our collaboration on a subnational scale is also flourishing. The Chinese and Russian peoples have benefited directly from all of this, and it has been a never-ending source of motivation for our respective

— Our two sides have taken action to realize the goal of enduring friendship and have slowly grown closer. President Putin and I announced the Treaty’s extension and new dimensions on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the China-Russia Treaty of Good Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation. At the national level, our two sides have hosted eight “theme years” and have continued to add new chapters to their friendship and collaboration. The fact that our two peoples supported and encouraged one another in the battle against COVID is further evidence that “a friend in need is a friend indeed.”

— On the global scene, our two sides worked closely together to carry out our obligations as significant nations. The UN-centered international system, the international order supported by international law, and the fundamental rules of international relations based on the objectives and tenets of the UN Charter are all things that China and Russia are steadfastly committed to preserving. At the UN, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, BRICS, the G20, and other multilateral mechanisms, we have maintained constant contact and coordination while working toward a multipolar world and increased democracy in international relations. We have taken an active role in advancing true multilateralism, advancing human values, and pushing the development of new forms of international relations and a global society with a common destiny.

Looking back on the remarkable trip that China-Russia ties have taken over the past 70 years and beyond, we strongly believe that our friendship is expanding gradually and should be treasured by all of us. China and Russia have discovered the best course for interstate relations. This is crucial if the partnership is to endure the test of shifting international conditions, as history and reality both demonstrate.

It will be a journey of friendship, cooperation, and peace during my next trip to Russia. I’m looking forward to collaborating with President Putin to adopt new goals, a new game plan, and new initiatives for the expansion of China-comprehensive Russia’s strategic cooperation in the coming years.

Our two sides must improve their collaboration and planning in order to achieve this. We should think creatively, generate new chances, and infuse fresh energy as we concentrate on our individual causes of development and renewal. To sustain China-Russia ties at a high level, it is crucial that we grow our mutual trust and unlock the potential of our bilateral cooperation.

To establish favorable conditions for the high-quality growth of our investment cooperation, our two sides must increase both the quality and quantity of their economic and investment cooperation, as well as their level of policy coordination. The expansion of traditional commerce and new areas of collaboration must be complementary and coordinated, and we must encourage more convergence of interests and areas of cooperation. In order to increase institutional support for bilateral and regional collaboration, continued efforts must be made to integrate the Eurasian Economic Union and the Belt and Road Initiative.

In order to make China-Russia Years of Sports Exchange a success, our two sides must intensify interpersonal and cultural contacts. To encourage increased exchanges between sister provinces/states and cities, we should make excellent use of the sub-national cooperation institutions. Exchanges of persons should be promoted, and efforts should be made to restart tourism cooperation. Better summer camps, jointly run schools, and other initiatives ought to be made accessible to foster friendship and understanding amongst our peoples, particularly among young people.

Today’s world is undergoing significant changes that haven’t occurred in a century. The historical trend toward peace, progress, and mutually beneficial cooperation cannot be reversed. There is no turning back from the current trends of economic globalization, world multipolarity, and more democracy in international relations. On the other side, our globe is faced with difficult and drawn-out global economic recovery, destructive hegemony, dominance, and bullying, and complex and interrelated traditional and non-traditional security issues. Globally, nations are extremely worried and eager to work together to find a solution to the situation.

Speaking in March 2013 at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, I noted that nations are interconnected and dependent on one another on a scale never before seen, and that people living in the same global village have grown closer together as a community with a shared future and intertwined interests. Since then, I have suggested the Global Civilization Initiative, Global Security Initiative, Global Development Initiative, and Belt and Road Initiative on several occasions. All of these have strengthened our desire for a human society with a common destiny and offered realistic paths to get there. They are a component of China’s response to global, contemporary, and historical changes.

Through these ten years, the common values of humanity — peace, development, equity, justice, democracy and freedom — have taken deeper roots in the heart of the people. An open, inclusive, clean and beautiful world with lasting peace, universal security and common prosperity has become the shared aspiration of more and more countries. The international community has recognized that no country is superior to others, no model of governance is universal, and no single country should dictate the international order. The common interest of all humankind is in a world that is united and peaceful, rather than divided and volatile.

Since last year, there has been an all-round escalation of the Ukraine crisis. China has all along upheld an objective and impartial position based on the merits of the issue, and actively promoted peace talks. I have put forth several proposals, i.e., observing the purposes and principles of the UN Charter, respect of the legitimate security concerns of all countries, supporting all efforts conducive to the peaceful settlement of the crisis, and ensuring the stability of global industrial and supply chains. They have become China’s fundamental principles for addressing the Ukraine crisis.

Not long ago, we released China’s Position on the Political Settlement of the Ukraine Crisis, which takes into account the legitimate concerns of all parties and reflects the broadest common understanding of the international community on the crisis. It has been constructive in mitigating the spillovers of the crisis and facilitating its political settlement. There is no simple solution to a complex issue. We believe that as long as all parties embrace the vision of common, comprehensive, cooperative and sustainable security, and pursue equal-footed, rational and results-oriented dialogue and consultation, they will find a reasonable way to resolve the crisis as well as a broad path toward a world of lasting peace and common security.

To run the world’s affairs well, one must first and foremost run its own affairs well. The Chinese people, under the leadership of the Communist Party of China, are striving in unity to advance the rejuvenation of the Chinese nation on all fronts through the Chinese path to modernization. Chinese modernization is characterized by the following features: it is the modernization of a huge population, the modernization of common prosperity for all, the modernization of material and cultural-ethical advancement, the modernization of harmony between humanity and nature, and the modernization of peaceful development. These distinctive Chinese features are the crystallization of our practices and explorations over the years, and reflect our profound understanding of international experience. Going forward, we will steadfastly advance the cause of Chinese modernization, strive to realize high-quality development, and expand high-standard opening up. I believe that this will bring new development opportunities to Russia and all countries in the world.

Just as every new year starts with spring, every success starts with actions. We have every reason to expect that China and Russia, as fellow travelers on the journey of development and rejuvenation, will make new and greater contributions to human advancement.


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