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Belt and Road Initiative Supports China and Russia in Rejuvenation Hand-in-Hand

Submit Time:26-07-2017 | Zoom In | Zoom Out

Author:Li Yonghui | Source:Guangming Daily


  On July 3 and 4, Chinese President Xi Jinping paid a state visit to Russia, and this was the third meeting of the heads of state of the two countries. This visit attracted much attention of the international society in the grand background of complicated and changing international situation, slow recovery of world economy and profound readjustment of relationship between major countries.

  At their current meeting, the heads of both countries would jointly determine the direction and goal for the development of Sino-Russia relationship in the new situation, further deepen political and strategic mutual trust, and push forward the pragmatic cooperation of both sides in all areas. It is particularly worth our attention that, the Belt and Road Initiative will provide new kinetic energy for China and Russia to deepen the national development strategy connection, and both countries will strengthen the ribbon of interest for the interconnection of the pursuing of the Belt and Road Initiative with Eurasian economic union.

  Frequent high-level talks of the two countries have ensured political mutual trust

  Russia is a support to and important cooperation partner of the Belt and Road Initiative, Russian President Putin pointed out at the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation held in this May that, in the current international situation, Belt and Road Initiative was proposed in good time, demonstrating the innovation by China in the regional economic integration.

  The effective connection of pursuing the Belt and Road Initiative with the Eurasian Economic Union has been benefited from the frequent high-level talks and high level of political mutual trust of the two countries. Since 2015, the heads of state of the two countries had 12 talks, playing an important leading role in maintaining the high level development momentum of the relationship between China and Russia. In 2016, on the opportunity of celebrating the 15th anniversary of signing the 2001 Sino-Russian Treaty of Friendship and the 20th anniversary of establishing the Sino-Russian strategic cooperation partnership, the two countries emphasized again the concepts of new state relationship of both countries as nonalignment, non-confrontation and not aiming at a third party, and maintaining friendship for generations, laying the foundation for the long-term development of the relations of the two countries in the 21st century. In the meantime, both countries hold identical or similar positions in almost all major international and regional issues today, becoming the main partners and important strategic backup supporting each other in international affairs. The two countries have carried out effective coordination and cooperation in major international and regional issues such as the reform of UN Security Council, coping with climate changes, the nuclear issue of Iran, the issue of Korean Peninsula and Syria crisis.

  Steady connection of development strategies

  On this foundation and in the course that the Belt and Road Initiative evolving from vision to reality, China and Russia complemented each other with their advantages, and gradually realized connection of their national development strategies.

  The first is steady deepening of policy communication. The connection of pursuing the Belt and Road Initiative with Eurasian Economic Union is the connection of the two countries in the economic development strategies of the two countries in Eurasian region, and the policy communication of the two countries has kept on strengthening. In May 2015, the heads of both countries signed the Joint Statement on Interconnection and Cooperation of Silk Road Economic Belt Construction and Eurasian Economic Union Construction, greatly enhancing the mutual understanding and political mutual trust of the two countries. During the two years, relevant departments of China and Russia have done a lot of work, and recently, the Eurasian Economic Commission adopted the resolution to officially launch negotiations with China, further consolidating the cooperation connotation in the connection of pursuing the Belt and Road Initiative with Eurasian Economic Union. China expects further deepening the cooperation with the Eurasian Economic Union, and realizing institutional arrangement for trade and investment cooperation on an earlier date.

  The second is continual strengthening of facilities connectivity. The east line of China-Russia natural gas pipeline has been progressing smoothly, and both parties are steadily pushing ahead the construction of the cross-border railway connecting the northeast of China and the far-east of Russia, the construction of large traffic corridors of “Binhai No. 1” and “Binhai No. 2”, the construction of Moscow-Kazan Express Railway, power grid renovation and logistics passage construction for diversification, and China Unicom (Russia) Operation Co., Ltd. has started operation in Moscow. Facilities connectivity will bring unprecedented opportunities to the development of the far-east region and broad Eurasian region of Russia.

  The third is gradual turning for the better in unimpeded trade. The economy of China and Russia is highly complementary with great potential of cooperation, and the two countries have a firm foundation in their relations. China has been the No. 1 trade partner for 6 consecutive years, and Russia is one of the main origins for China to import energy and high and new mechanical and electrical technologies. In 2016, China and Russia overcame difficulties and stabilized trade with a momentum for further growth. This trend became all the more apparent in 2017. According to relevant statistics, in the first 5 months, the bilateral trade of China and Russia reached Renminbi 223.1 billion yuan (about 32.8 billion US dollars), increasing by 33.7% over the same period of previous year. At present, the trade structure of China and Russia is being improved continually, major breakthrough has been obtained in energy cooperation, the cross-border e-commerce, the rising of pragmatic local cooperation and the traffic connectivity have become new growth points in the economic cooperation of the two countries.

  The fourth is daily expansion of financial integration. New progress has been made by both parties in financial investment, the central bank of Russia has set up a representative office in China, the Renminbi clearing center in Russia has operated in Moscow, and the China Development Bank and The Export & Import Bank of China have determined a new batch of major investment cooperation projects with a number of financial institutions of Russia. China will set up Sino-Russian regional cooperation and development investment fund, with a total scale of Renminbi 100 billion yuan, and 10 billion yuan in the initial phase, to promote the development of small and medium-sized enterprises.

  The fifth is continual strengthening of people-to-people bonds. The humanistic cooperation of China and Russia has been further expanded and deepened, and the social foundation and public opinion environment for Sino-Russian relations have been obviously improved. In recent years, the two countries have successfully sponsored activities of “national year”, “language year”, “tourism year”, “youth culture exchange year” and “media year”, in each other’s countries, achieving substantial results with high participation degree by the public and intense response from the society. Through a series of cultural exchanges and cooperation, both countries have deepened cooperation in all fields, consolidating the public opinion foundation and the social base for pursuing the Belt and Road Initiative.

  New motive force in the all-round strategic cooperation partnership of China and Russia

  The connection of pursuing the Belt and Road Initiative with Eurasian Economic Union has fully demonstrated the firm determination of China and Russia for joint development and prosperity and building a community of common future. It has greatly widened the strategic cooperation space of both parties, pointing out the direction for the implementation of development strategy in the bilateral and multi-lateral frameworks, and injecting new and powerful motive force to further push ahead the overall strategic cooperation partnership of China and Russia. The connectivity of the development direction of the two countries will also ensure the continual and steady growth of regional economy, strengthen the integration of regional economy and safeguard the peace and development in the region.

  We can say that the pursuing of Belt and Road Initiative will become not only an important support to the rejuvenation of China and Russia hand-in-hand, but also a strategic platform for the two countries to carry out international cooperation and push the international relationship and international systems to develop in a more fair and rational direction.

  (Working unit: Institute of Russian, Eastern European and Central Asian Studies Chinese Academy of Social Sciences)

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