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Sino-Russian ties withstand test of time

2013-03-22 10:36 Global Times     Web Editor: Wang Fan comment

Chinese President Xi Jinping kicks off his visit to Russia and three African countries Friday. The China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination has again become prominent in international public opinion, stirring discussion and speculation.

China named Moscow as the destination of President Xi's first foreign visit. It's destined to be a high-profile visit, with no need for China and Russia to be coy about it.

The strategic importance of China and Russia to each other is evident. How the two have attached such importance to their ties for such a long time has been hotly discussed. Some worry bilateral ties between China and Russia will finally change given their "politically-warm, economically-cold" state.

During Xi's visit this time, the two sides are expected to reach over 20 business deals under the aim of boosting economic ties while keeping political closeness.

There is no doubt over the ideal future direction for Sino-Russian relations. However, economic cooperation should avoid being "artificially heated up" and instead develop on a natural track. Trade volume between China and Russia amounted to over $80 billion in 2012. But this figure is much smaller compared with China-US trade volume of $500 billion.

Russia is inactive in developing trade relations with countries outside the Commonwealth of Independent States sphere. The degree of Russia's self-sufficiency is much higher than countries prosperous via trade. China and Russia both have made unremitting efforts to enhance mutual trade, yet have failed to see a turning point. Such a scenario should be viewed with rationality.

The Sino-Russian friendship is a result of the restructuring of world powers after the Cold War based on geopolitical interests. It could influence the nature of international relations in the 21st century and increase leverage among China and Russia to handle thorny global issues.

But the "China-Russia Axis" does not exist. Both China and Russia want to build all-round diplomacy. They do not want to spark confrontation with Western countries. More specifically, there is no need for China and Russia to align with each other to confront the US.

Sino-Russian relations have experienced some difficulties such as trade friction, but people from the two countries should deepen communication with each other. China and Russia's leaders must shoulder the responsibility to resolve all kinds of troubles between the two countries.

The closeness between Beijing and Moscow will naturally be a concern for Washington. If the US continues to see China and Russia through a Cold-War lens and takes moves against the two countries aimed at containment, Sino-Russian relations will be more reactive. Trilateral ties among these powers should underpin their dynamics.

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