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Year-ender: Interdependence and mutual respect between China and Russia in 2015

Editor: Li Kun 丨CCTV.com

12-25-2015 17:29 BJT

By Li Ziguo, deputy director of Department for European-Central Asian Studies at China Institute of International Studies

2015 marks the 70th anniversary of the victory against the anti-fascist war and marks a significant point in the reconstruction of international relationships. China and Russia's extensive strategic partnership plays an important role in the world's international order and its regional stability. The two countries view each other as strategic and supportive partners. Although there have been some economic obstacles, the overall economic system has been complimentary and mutually beneficial as such the two countries signed a series of strategic documents.

 

Working together to guard WWII victory

In 2015, the two countries saw  celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the victory against the fascists in World War II (WWII). This past May, in Russia's capital Moscow, President Xi attended the grand military parade marking the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Great Patriotic War. In September, Russian President Putin, engaged in commemorative activities in Beijing that marked the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War. The two countries voiced that the painful and historic lessons of war cannot be forgotten, and that the results of the WWII victory should be safeguarded while any action of distorting and trampling history must be condemned.

The SCO leaders have endorsed a statement to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the victory of the anti-fascist WWII. In the statement, leaders firmly opposed distortions of the results of WWII in the name of morality and legality as well as any attempts to forget the painful lessons of mankind.

Calling for win-win international relationship

2015 saw obvious international division, rising threats such as terrorism and other non-traditional threats. The question of how to shape international relationships 70 years after WWII is of growing importance.

China and Russia share the opinion of building a win-win international relationship to better coordinate efforts under the UN framework. In May, the two countries signed a joint statement to deepen their comprehensive, win-win, strategic partnership which includes deepening their bilateral relationship. This statement appealed for a new and improved international relationship centered on win-win co-operations and accelerating multi-polarization.

China and Russia continue to actively push for the aforementioned concepts under the framework of BRICKS and SCO. In July, the Ufa Declaration of the SCO Heads of State put forward the notion that the global governance mechanism should be achieved on the UN platform and that a world order with justice and a win-win relationship should be built. Different civilizations should show mutual respect, and each nation should have its own right to choose their political, economic, social and cultural development paths. The Ufa Declaration of the BRICKS Heads of State noted that the UN's authority must be maintained as the world continues to face a number of global challenges. We must continue in a cooperative, comprehensive, transparent and effective manner.

China, Russia stand strong with economic and trade deals

Sino-Russian bilateral trade turnover had decreased, but trade volume has increased. Due to diving international energy prices, Russian GDP (gross domestic product) had declined 3.9% in 2015, while Sino-Russian economic and trade cooperation has been impacted as well.

According to statistics from Russian customs, Sino-Russian trade in goods from January to September in 2015 stood at US$ 46.83 billion, a 29.7% decrease from the previous year.

However, compared to Russia's overall foreign trade drop of 33.9%, China remains Russia's largest trading partner, and China's share of Russia's foreign trade had been on the rise, reaching 11.83%.

Trade volume between China and Russia has not declined, since imports of bulk commodities from Russia continues to expand, which indicate the decrease of bilateral trade turnover was mainly due to falling energy prices.

The two economies complement each other with tremendous potential for future cooperation. Beijing and Moscow have signed deals to lay a solid foundation on economic and trade cooperation.

In May 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed a joint declaration "on cooperation in coordinating the development of the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) project and the Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB)."

Both sides are building a "common economic space" in Eurasia.  Central Asian and other countries have also signed on to the "Belt and Road."

In June, Beijing and Moscow agreed to build the Moscow - Kazan high-speed railway, to introduce China's high-speed railways and hi-tech standards to Russia. This marks an important step for both sides in constructing the Silk Road Economic Belt.

In December, at the 20th China-Russia Prime Ministers' Regular Meeting, the two sides signed more than 30 cooperation documents in the fields of energy, investment, finance, high technology and other areas, including a MOU to boost bilateral trade. 

The political will and economic foundation for Sino-Russian economic cooperation remain strong, and both sides have taken notice of current difficulties and taken positive countermeasures to upgrade Sino-Russian trade and economic cooperation in the future.

Moscow's relations with the West face difficult times. Accordingly, Russia can regard stable Russian-Sino relations  as a strategic countermeasure.

Beijing endorses Moscow  as a strategic pivot to realize a new-type of major power relations, while both sides continue to enhance a mutual bilateral reliance.

Economic and trade cooperation is the cornerstone of strategic partnership between the two countries despite competition from Central Asia and elsewhere. The good news is that both sides are resolving their differences by achieving win-win cooperation.

( The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Panview or CCTV.com. )

 

 

Panview offers a new window of understanding the world as well as China through the views, opinions, and analysis of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

Panview offers an alternative angle on China and the rest of the world through the analyses and opinions of experts. We also welcome outside submissions, so feel free to send in your own editorials to "globalopinion@vip.cntv.cn" for consideration.

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