A Brighter Future for China-Russia Relations*
June 25, 2016
Distinguished President Vladimir Putin,
Ladies and gentlemen,
We gather here today to celebrate the 15th anniversary of the Treaty of Good-neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation Between the People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation. First of all, on behalf of the Chinese government and people and in my own name, I would like to extend warm greetings to people from various sectors of China and Russia who have been working to promote friendship between the two countries.
Fifteen years ago, on the basis of our experience and achievements in developing bilateral relations, China and Russia signed the Treaty of Good-neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation. The treaty established a new model of bilateral relations featuring non-alignment, non-confrontation, not targeting any third party, and everlasting friendship. This new model of bilateral relations has been solidified in a legal instrument, laying a solid legal foundation for the long-term development of China-Russia relations in the 21st century. Guided by the purposes and principles of the treaty, both sides soon solved the remaining border issues carried over from history and have established a comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination featuring equality, mutual trust, mutual assistance, common prosperity and everlasting friendship. This has brought tangible benefit to both peoples and made a positive contribution to peace, security and stability in the region and the world.
Over the past 15 years, guided by the spirit of the treaty, the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination has rapidly moved forward to a high level, with fruitful results in cooperation in many fields.
– Our two countries have prioritized each other in our respective diplomatic agendas. We have lived in harmony, treated each other as equals, firmly supported each other on issues concerning our core interests, and respected each other's choice of the path of development that suits our national conditions, and enjoyed a high level of mutual political trust.
– Our two countries have each seen the other's development as an opportunity for our own, supported each other in independently managing our own affairs and growing stronger, and helped each other in an endeavor to achieve common development and common prosperity.
– We have set up a well-equipped high-level exchange mechanism for close communication, in-depth consultations and frank exchange of ideas on major issues of our mutual concern, to diffuse possible difficulties and problems in our cooperation and maintain our bilateral relations at a high level.
– We have carried out mutually beneficial economic cooperation. Our bilateral trade has increased more than ten-fold over the past 15 years. Our cooperation has expanded from traditional trade only to a wide range of other fields, such as investment, financing, energy, aviation and aerospace, high technology, high speed rail, and agriculture, from national to local, from simple trading business to joint research and development, joint manufacturing and others, and from border trade to cooperation in major strategic projects. As a result, our economic interests have become deeply intertwined.
– People-to-people and cultural exchanges between our two countries have thrived. We have introduced a number of theme events, including the Chinese or Russian year, the Chinese or Russian language year, the Chinese or Russian tourism year and the youth exchange year. The event of media exchange year is in full swing now. All these events have helped our two peoples to increase favorable impressions of each other and further consolidated their traditional friendship.
– Our two countries have closely coordinated and collaborated with each other in regional and international affairs, and cooperated and supported each other in international and regional organizations, including the United Nations, Shanghai Cooperation Organization, Conference on Interaction and Confidence-building Measures in Asia, BRICS, Russia-India-China Foreign Ministers' Meeting, and the G20. We have worked together to facilitate the process of political solutions to regional and international flashpoints, and to improve the global governance system. We have thus become key elements and constructive forces in promoting international peace and stability.
Our experience over the past 15 years has proved that the purposes and principles stipulated in the treaty conform to the fundamental interests of our two countries and peoples, and to the trend of the times for global peace and development. These purposes and principles can stand the test of changes in the world and prove to have strong vitality. They provide fundamental guarantee and an everlasting driving force for a healthy and steady development of the comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination between China and Russia.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Today, 15 years after the signing of the treaty, our two peoples expect to see our bilateral relations develop further. President Putin and I have worked out new plans for further developing our comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination in keeping with the idea of everlasting friendship enshrined in the treaty, in response to the people's expectations and in light of the new situation.
– We will, taking advantage of the 15th anniversary of the treaty, continue to maintain close high-level exchanges, enhance political and strategic mutual trust, and increase mutual support so as to build a strong strategic foundation for bilateral relations.
– We will ensure peace and tranquility in the area along the 4,300-kilometer-long China-Russia border and turn our border into a strong bond for friendship and cooperation through border cooperation.
– We will build on what we have achieved in economic cooperation, enhance the complementarity of the development strategies of our two countries and the complementarity between the Belt and Road Initiative and the Eurasian Economic Union. In doing so, we will advance our economic cooperation to a higher level, which will benefit not only the Chinese and Russian peoples but also people on the Eurasian Continent.
– We will enhance people-to-people and cultural exchanges, in particular, by giving full play to the China-Russia Friendship, Peace and Development Committee, a main channel for people-to-people exchanges, increase contacts between the two peoples, and promote the concept of peace underlined by the treaty. In this way, people from all sectors of the two countries will know and understand each other better and pass down long-standing friendship from generation to generation.
– We will uphold the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and basic norms of international relations, strengthen international strategic collaboration, and work for a fairer and more reasonable international order and for political settlement of international and regional flashpoints, so as to safeguard world peace, security and stability.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The Treaty of Good-neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation Between China and Russia, a major milestone in the history of ChinaRussia relations, has had a positive impact on the world. We have every reason to believe that with the profound changes and complexities in the international landscape, the treaty will prove to have great demonstration effects and strong vitality.
As the tides of history roll on, the call of the times cannot be ignored, aspirations of the world's peoples cannot be suppressed, and the trend towards peace and development is irresistible. Let us join hands in fulfilling the commitments made in the treaty, and forge ahead with an open mind towards a better future for China-Russia relations and a world blessed with peace, friendship and sunshine for the coming generations.
Thank you all.
* Speech at the meeting marking the 15th anniversary of the Treaty of Good-neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation Between the People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation.
(Not to be republished for any commercial or other purposes.)