Visit to Russia also a chance to promote global peace and stability, analysts say
President Xi Jinping's three-day state visit to Russia starting on Wednesday will help build even stronger ties between Beijing and Moscow amid a changing international climate, officials and experts said.
They said the cooperation between China and Russia, which are both permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, will provide a solid foundation for promoting global peace and stability.
Xi's visit will cement the political foundation of Sino-Russian ties to ensure the two countries provide much greater support to each other on issues related to their respective core interests and major concerns, said Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs Zhang Hanhui. Their relations will not be affected by any change in the international situation, he added.
Xi and Russian President Vladimir Putin will use the visit to map out a strategic plan for the future development of the countries' ties, opening up new prospects for bilateral pragmatic cooperation in various fields and jointly ushering in a new era of high-level development of China-Russia relations, Zhang said.
The visit takes place when the international order is challenged by unilateralism and protectionism and the global economy is dampened by the ongoing trade dispute between the United States and China, the world's two largest economies.
Vladimir Yakunin, chairman of the Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute, said that against the backdrop of growing global discord, Xi's visit demonstrates the strategic relationship of the two countries.
Chinese Ambassador to Russia Li Hui said China and Russia advocate the building of a new type of international relations featuring win-win cooperation, resolutely upholding the international system with the United Nations at the core, and calling for peaceful means to resolve international and regional hot-spot issues.
Wu Hongwei, a researcher of China-Russia relations at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the two countries share the same position on building a more stable and multipolar world, and they have sent such signals through supporting and coordinating with each other on international occasions.
The Foreign Ministry has said the two countries are expected to sign about 30 cooperation documents during the visit, including two joint statements on bilateral relations and on issues of global security and international strategic stability. Other agreements will focus on such fields as trade, energy and investment.
Bilateral trade volume reached more than $100 billion last year, according to statistics from the Ministry of Commerce.
Experts attributed the high-level development of China-Russia relations to the head-of-state diplomacy.
Oleg Timofeev, associate professor at Peoples' Friendship University of Russia, said the frequent visits of the two presidents show the fine political relations between China and Russia.
The two presidents have had 28 meetings on various occasions since 2013. Their last meeting took place at the end of April, when Putin attended the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing.
Natalia Percheritsa, a professor and director of the Center for Asian and Pacific Countries at Russian New University, said Xi's visit will have a positive effect on bilateral cooperation in the political and economic fields as well as in culture and education.
This year marks the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between China and Russia.
During Xi's visit, the two leaders will attend a series of events commemorating the 70th anniversary of bilateral ties, including the opening ceremony for a panda facility at the Moscow Zoo, according to Vice-Minister Zhang. A pair of giant pandas were delivered to the zoo in April for research cooperation.
Xi will also attend the 23rd St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, Zhang said.
St. Petersburg State University, Putin's alma mater, will award Xi an honorary doctorate during the visit, Zhang said. Putin was granted the same honor by Tsinghua University, Xi's alma mater, in April.