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Xi, Putin meet via video link; bilateral ties show ‘solid foundation to withstand tests’

Source: Global Times

Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday met with Russian President Vladimir Putin via video link. The two leaders discussed bilateral relations as well as regional and other issues.

Experts welcomed the mutual trust displayed between the two countries and said the China-Russia relations have a very broad, solid and profound foundation on a strategic level.

Xi told Putin that he’s glad to talk with Putin at the end of this year, which has become a tradition.

Xi stressed that both sides should further make good use of existing mechanisms to push for progress in cooperation on economy, trade, energy, finance and agriculture.

China is ready to resume normal cross-border travel with Russia and other countries in an orderly manner, Xi said.

China is ready to work with Russia and all progressive forces in the world that stand against hegemonism and power politics to jointly oppose unilateralism, protectionism and bullying, and to firmly safeguard sovereignty, security, and development interests of the two countries, as well as international equity and justice, Xi said.

Xi said China and Russia should increase mutual support on issues concerning each other’s core interests and work together to resist interference and sabotage by external forces.

Putin said Russia firmly supports China’s position on the Taiwan question and firmly abides by the one-China principle.

Putin also said that in the current complex and severe international situation, Russia-China relations have maintained a sound momentum of development, witnessing steady cooperation progress in various fields, including energy, agriculture, transportation, infrastructure, sports and people-to-people exchanges.

The resilience, maturity and stability of Russia-China ties have been enhanced further, Putin said, adding that the significance of strategic coordination between the two countries has become more prominent and that the bilateral relations can serve as a model for relations between major countries in the 21st century.

Russia is willing to continue close coordination with China on multilateral platforms including the United Nations, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, BRICS and the Group of 20, Putin said.

The two presidents exchanged views on the Ukraine crisis. Xi stressed that China has noted Russia’s statement that it has never refused to resolve the conflict through diplomatic negotiations and China commends that. The path of peace talks will not be a smooth one, but as long as parties do not give up, there will always be prospect for peace.

China will continue to hold an objective and impartial position, work to build synergy in the international community and play a constructive role toward peaceful resolution of the Ukraine crisis, Xi said.

According to the Tass, the talk is the first contact between the two leaders since the 20th CPC National Congress. The two leaders met face-to-face on the sideline of Shanghai Cooperation Organization’s summit in mid-September and in February, when Putin attended the opening of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing.

The meeting also came after Xi’s meeting with the Chairman of the United Russia party Dmitry Medvedev in Beijing on December 21. Xi remarked that China-Russia relations have withstood the test of international changes and maintained sound, steady and high-level development.

Li Haidong, a professor at the Institute of International Relations at the China Foreign Affairs University, told the Global Times that the Xi-Putin dialogue summarized the achievements of China-Russia relations and pointed out major areas of future cooperation. “There will be substantial progress in these areas in the future.”

Whether it is economy, trade, agriculture, energy, anti-monopoly or supporting multilateralism, they all show that China-Russia relations have a very broad, solid and profound foundation, and it is in the interests of both sides to consolidate this foundation, which ensures that China and Russia can withstand various risks and tests in the future, Li said.

China-Russia relations have their own internal dynamics… the leaders’ dialogue is not aimed at a third party, Li said.

Cui Heng, an assistant research fellow from the Center for Russian Studies at the East China Normal University, told the Global Times on Friday that major international political events such as the Russia-Ukraine conflict and the US’ dual containment against China and Russia have shown the significance of China-Russia relations.

The fact that Xi and Putin did not avoid sensitive topics such as the Russia-Ukraine conflict and Taiwan question during their talks shows the depth of mutual trust between the two sides, Cui said.

Xi’s emphasis on promoting peace talks shows that China, which calls for building a community with a shared future for mankind, cherishes peace and development, and is in essence different from some Western countries that fan the flames and take advantage of a complex situation, Cui said.