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Putin and Xi Commit to Strengthening Economic and Political Ties

May 17—Presidents Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin began their talks yesterday at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing reported TASS: The Russian delegation is represented by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, First Deputy Prime Minister Denis Manturov, Deputy Prime Ministers Alexander Novak and Dmitry Chernyshenko, deputy head of the presidential administration Maxim Oreshkin, presidential aide Yury Ushakov, Russian Ambassador to China Igor Morgulov, Defense Minister Andrey Belousov, Finance Minister Anton Siluanov, Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina, Director of the Federal Service for Military Technical Cooperation Dmitry Shugayev, and Roscomsos CEO Yury Borisov.

The Chinese side is represented by Director of the General Office of the Chinese Communist Party Cai Qi, Vice Premier of the State Council Ding Xuexiang, Director of the Office of the Central Commission for Foreign Affairs and Minister of Foreign Affairs Wang Yi, Vice Premier of the State Council He Lifeng, Vice Premier of the State Council Zhang Guoqing, State Council member Shen Yiqin, Chinese Ambassador to Russia Zhang Hanhui, and Deputy Foreign Minister Sun Weidong.

Earlier reports quote Putin as saying at the meeting that relations between Russia and China are not opportunistic and are not directed against anyone, “It is of fundamental importance that relations between Russia and China are not opportunistic and are not directed against anyone. Our cooperation in world affairs today serves as one of the main stabilizing factors in the international arena,” the Russian leader pointed out.

According to Putin, Russia and China together uphold the principles of justice and a democratic world order that reflects multipolar realities and a world order based on international law. “Russia and China are successfully cooperating in the UN, BRICS, SCO and G20. We are determined to further harmonize integration processes in the Eurasian space, to combine the potential of the Eurasian Economic Community and your, my dear friend, Belt and Road Initiative,” the Russian leader stated.

Putin expressed hope that his current visit would give an additional impetus to the development of the entire complex of bilateral cooperation. “I would like to emphasize: I am very happy to arrive in China and to meet with you,” he told Xi Jinping.

“Moscow and Beijing have indeed developed a strong background in technical cooperation,” the Russian leader said. He reiterated that in 2023, the bilateral trade turnover increased almost by one-fourth, reaching $227 bn.

“By the end of last year, Russia was in the fourth place among China’s trade partners. This was directly influenced by the approval of a plan of development of key directions of Russian-Chinese economic cooperation until 2023 following your visit to Moscow in March 2023,” Putin told Xi.

Putin identified energy, industry and agriculture as priorities and separately noted cooperation on hi-tech, innovations, infrastructure construction and transport. “Humanitarian interaction is expanding. According to our agreement, we will hold cross-years of Russia and China’s culture in 2024-2025,” he added. While greeting the Chinese president, Putin noted that he was sincerely happy to visit hospitable China again.

“Mutual trade and investments [between Russia and China] are reliably protected from the influence of third countries and the negative trends on global forex markets,” he told reporters following the talks.

“We have reached an agreement that Russia and China will continue strengthening contacts through credit organizations, actively involving national payment systems for serving our economic operators,” Putin added.

“Our countries favor rehabilitation of global economic management, reforming and depoliticizing of multisided institutions, such as the World Trade Organization, G20, the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum," he said.

For his part, Chinese President Xi Jinping stated, “This year marks the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Russia. Over the past three quarters of a century, Sino-Russia ties have been tempered by tough conditions, endured the test of a volatile international situation and now are the gold standard of relations between major powers and neighboring countries, marked by mutual respect, trust, friendship and mutual benefit.”

Pointing to some 40 meetings he has had with Putin, Xi remarked, “Such close relations let us map strategic directions to retain stable and vibrant growth dynamics in Russia-China relations, which have not been easy to build and therefore must be treated with the utmost care.” Xi stressed that not only does the stable development of ties between China and Russia meet the interests of both countries but it also promotes peace and prosperity in the region and worldwide.

“In this new endeavor, we intend, as always, to be good neighbors, trustworthy friends and reliable partners with Russia, consistently bolster the centuries-old friendship between the two nations, jointly aspire to multinational development and revitalization and together stand up for international equality and justice,” the Chinese leader concluded.

The leaders signed a joint statement on deepening strategic partnership relations, Putin told reporters that the document “sets new ambitious tasks and long-term objectives for the development of the entire complex of Russian-Chinese relations,” the achievement of which will be facilitated by the signing of a package of intergovernmental, interagency and trade agreements prepared for his visit to China. 

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