Xi's visit fresh impetus for China-Russia ties
MOSCOW - Chinese President Xi Jinping's upcoming visit to Russia will inject new impetus into their strategic partnership, says Chinese Ambassador Li Hui.
Calling Xi's March 22-24 visit "a milestone" in bilateral ties, Li said Russia is the first country the newly-elected Chinese president will visit, which demonstrates the great importance the new Chinese leadership attaches to their relations.
In an article written ahead of the visit, Li said Xi's visit also reveals the uniqueness and high level of China-Russia ties.
Currently, China-Russia relations are at the best time of development. The two countries' strategic mutual trust also reaches the highest level, he said.
The two strategic partners, also each other's largest neighbor, have also become each other's opportunity for development, according to the ambassador.
Politically, the two sides respect each other's sovereignty, security, territorial integrity and the path of development, Li noted, adding both countries support each other's efforts in ensuring stability, flourishing economy and improving people's livelihood.
Economically, China and Russia have enhanced their business cooperation, with bilateral trade amounting to 88.16 billion U.S. dollars in 2012, an 11.2-percent increase year-on-year.
According to Li, China became Russia's top trade partner for a second consecutive year. Mutual investment has expanded, energy cooperation has made new progress, and regional and cross-border cooperation has thrived, he added.
As for the people-to-people exchanges, Li cited the National Year and Language Year held respectively in the two countries and the successfully concluded Russian Tourism Year in China last year.
The number of Chinese tourists visiting Russia reached 343,000 last year, up 47 percent from 2011, Li noted.
This year, the opening of the Chinese Tourism Year in Russia will help deepen understanding and friendship between the two peoples and consolidate the social foundation for furthering bilateral ties, said the Chinese diplomat, adding it will also boost tourism in both countries.
On the world stage, China and Russia have strengthened their strategic coordination facing intricate global and regional situations. They support each other in affairs concerning each other's core interests, maintain close contacts in dealing with global crises and regional hotspots.
Their coordination, Li noted, has not only safeguarded national interests of the two partners efficiently, but also played a leading role in enhancing peace, stability and prosperity in the world.
Meanwhile, China and Russia, both at a crucial period for development, have huge cooperation potential, Li said.
Russia joined the World Trade Organization last year and has been speeding up the implementation of its Far East development strategy. China has been eagerly pushing its economic transition and has listed overall opening up to Russia as its strategic policy.
"The two highly complementary economies enjoy broad cooperative prospects in investment, energy, high-tech innovation among other major fields," Li added.
According to him, the two countries have transferred their political advantages into concrete cooperation achievements, and fostered strategic partnership with pragmatic cooperation and large projects.
On the way of modernization and national rejuvenation, China and Russia will take full use of the opportunities they face and strive for common development and prosperity "in accordance with interests of the two countries and benefits of the two peoples," Li wrote.
Xi's visit will further strengthen mutual trust between the two sides, enhance pragmatic cooperation in all fields, unfold a new chapter of high-level contacts, thus "injecting new impetus into further development of the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination," Li said.