Editor's note: Cui Zheng is an associate professor, and Wang Yajie is an assistant researcher, both working at the Research Center for the Economics and Politics of Transitional Countries of Liaoning University. The article reflects the view of the authors, and not necessarily those of CGTN.
China's State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi spoke to the press on March 8, on the sidelines of the annual meeting of China's National People's Congress. During the press conference, Wang addressed the China-Russia relations, which he believes "should serve as an example of how two nations' relations should be."
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Russia. Over the past 70 years, there have been both “honeymoon” periods and difficult times between China and Russia.
After the disintegration of the Soviet Union, successive leaders of China and Russia have adhered to the principle of win-win cooperation, good-neighborliness and friendship, bringing bilateral relations onto the right track and deepening them continuously. Today, despite the complex and ever-changing situation in the world, the stable ties between the two nations are unswerving.
Twists and turns in bilateral relations
In October 1949, the newly established People's Republic of China pursued a good relationship with the Soviet Union. This not only provided China with a favorable global environment which was beneficial for the country's national reconstruction but also ushered in an era of Sino-Russian (Soviet) exchanges.
The ups and downs of Sino-Soviet relations remind us that neither "alignment" nor "confrontation" is the best option.
In a time of drastic changes happening in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, Deng Xiaoping said that "no matter how the Soviet Union changes, China should take it easy in developing relations with the country on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence and not engage in ideological disputes," which laid the foundation for the development of the Sino-Russian relations.
In 1996, China and Russia issued a joint statement, announcing that the relationship between the two countries had grown to a "21st-century strategic partnership centered on equality and mutual trust" and characterized by non-alignment, non-confrontation and non-targeting third countries.
On July 16, 2001, China and Russia signed the Treaty of Good-neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation, which defined the relationship between the two countries as "remain friends forever and never become enemies." This fundamental political document has set the stage for the future development of Sino-Russian political relations and cooperation in various fields.
China-Russia relations bring peace and stability
The deep friendship and mutual trust forged by the heads of state of China and Russia have become the fundamental driver for the continuous development of bilateral relations. In addition, the mutual support based on the core interests of the two countries, the close cooperation in international affairs and the increasingly frequent exchanges between the two countries in all walks of life have led to deepening practical cooperation between China and Russia in various fields.
In recent years, the cooperation has yielded fruitful results. It has developed from simple trade in energy and goods to all-around collaboration in high technology, infrastructure, investment, finance, agriculture, military, security and other fields.
The smooth political and economic transition and development in both countries can increase bilateral trade. In 2018, the bilateral trade volume between China and Russia exceeded 100 billion U.S. dollars for the first time in history. The trade volume in 2018 reached 107.06 billion U.S. dollars, up by 27.1 percent year on year.
In May 2015, China and Russia signed The Joint Statement on Cooperation on the Construction of Joint Eurasian Economic Union and the Silk Road Projects, which is of great significance and is the top design and important plan made by the heads of state of China and Russia to deepen the pragmatic cooperation between the two countries from a strategic perspective. So far, this endeavor has generated important results.
The Sino-Russian relations have gone through 70 years of development. Not only has the bilateral cooperation been upgraded continuously and the relationships between the two countries become closer, but they have also stood the test of time and changes of the world.
As Foreign Minister Wang Yi said, the deepening Sino-Russian cooperation knows no boundaries and the relations between the two countries will only get better.