China-Russia cooperation enjoys broad prospects

A Chinese woman is exhibiting traditional Chinese handicrafts to Russian visitors. (Wu Yan / People’s Daily)

By Wu Yan, Ji Peijuan, Yin Xinyu, Zhou Hanbo (People’s Daily)

After seven decades of hardships and efforts, the cooperation between China and Russia has become increasingly mature, stable and resilient.

Ahead of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s trip to Russia for a state visit and the 23rd St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, the Central Bank of the Russian Federation issued a set of commemorative coins to mark the 70th anniversary of China-Russia diplomatic ties, which showcased the profound relationship between the two nations.

On October 1, 1949, the People’s Republic of China (PRC) was founded, and Sergey Leonidovich Tikhvinsky, Soviet Consul General to China and a famous sinologist immediately submitted a reply message from the Soviet government on the second day, confirming the establishment of diplomatic ties with the PRC, introduced Dmitri Mezentsev, Chairman of the Russia-China Friendship Association when fondly recalling the late sinologist.

In November, 2017, the last volume of a book series on the general history of China compiled by Tikhvinsky was published in Moscow.

On the launching ceremony, the senior, who was then 99 years old, made an unscripted speech on how he had compiled the 10-volume books without making any mistake. “That is because China was in his heart and the books were his life,” Mezentsev noted.

The touching story of Tikhvinsky is not the only case, and it vividly demonstrated the profound and lasting friendship between the Chinese and Russian peoples.

Since 2013, the two heads of state of China and Russia have maintained high frequency of meetings. They support each other on the hosting of major events, and have maintained annual exchange of visits. Every handshake between President Xi and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin has pushed bilateral relations to a higher level.

Despite the current sluggish international trade and investment, as well as rising protectionism, China-Russia economic and trade cooperation has achieved remarkable results.

China remains Russia’s largest trading partner, while Russia ranks the tenth the other way around. In 2018, bilateral trade volume between the two countries hit a record of $100 billion, representing the largest growth among all major trading partners of China. Now, the two countries are making solid progress to double the figure.

The two countries have achieved early results in aligning the Belt and Road Initiative and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU). A slew of cooperation projects are being implemented, including the development and utilization of Arctic waterways, and Binhai 1 and Binhai 2 international transport corridors.

In May 2018, the Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation between China and the EAEU was officially inked. It will further enhance the facilitation of economic and trade cooperation in Eurasia.

China and Russia are linked by mountains and rivers. In recent years, infrastructure construction cooperation has yielded fruitful results.

The first shipment of liquefied natural gas from the Yamal LNG project in the Arctic arrived in China. The second line of the China-Russia oil pipeline began operation, and the east-route natural gas pipeline is expected to supply gas to China as scheduled. The two countries have also signed a series of cooperation agreements in the nuclear sector.

Besides, Tongjiang railway bridge and the Heihe highway bridge have finished closure. Upon completion, the cargo turnover through the two bridges is expected to be doubled, enabling Russia’s Far East region to better cooperate with Chinese provinces and cities.

The two countries also enjoy rapid development in the cooperation on emerging fields such as agriculture, finance, science and technology, and e-commerce.

The cooperation between the two countries enjoys broad prospects, said Stepanov, a senior researcher at the Institute of Economics of the Russian Academy of Sciences, adding that it is urgent for the two countries to enhance trade and investment facilitation and vigorously promote cooperation on agricultural trade, e-commerce and service trade.

At present, the tourist exchanges between the two countries have exceeded 3 million, and student exchanges 80,000. Mandarin is included in Russia’s college entrance examination – the Unified State Exam.

The cultural and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries cover a wide range of areas, including the Year of Russia in China, the Year of China in Russia, the Year of Russian Language in China, the Year of Chinese Language in Russia, the Year of Tourism, the China-Russia Youth Friendly Exchange Year, the China-Russia Media Exchange Year, and the year of China-Russia local cooperation and exchange.

The two countries have also hosted film festivals and translated each other’s publications to promote people-to-people bond and cultural integration.

The China-Russia Culture Forum and the China-Russia Cultural Market have become flagship projects between the two countries concerning cultural exchanges and cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative.

Russia-China relations have reached an unprecedented height and achieved remarkable results, said Pavel Negoitsa, director-general of the Russian Gazette, adding that the two countries still enjoy great potential. He is looking forward to the further development of the bilateral relationship in the new era.

Performers are doing makeup before performing Kunqu opera “The Peony Pavilion” at the Chekhov International Theatre Festival 2019. (Wu Yan / People’s Daily)

Chinese and Russian artists perform classic songs of the two countries at a gala commemorating the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Russia on June 5. (Wu Yan / People’s Daily)


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