Chinese President Xi Jinping had a virtual meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Beijing on Friday afternoon.
President Xi expressed his pleasure in meeting President Putin virtually at the year-end, which he said has become a good tradition between them. President Xi noted that under the guidance of both President Putin and himself, the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era has grown more mature and resilient, with the internal impetus and special value of bilateral cooperation further brought out.
In the first 11 months of this year, two-way trade volume reached a record high. Investment cooperation has been improved and integrated. Energy cooperation continues to serve as an anchor. And cooperation projects in key areas are moving forward steadily. The two sides also enjoy growing sub-national cooperation and closer people-to-people and cultural exchange. Activities of the Year of Sports Exchange have been carried out smoothly. The social and popular support for China-Russia friendship becomes stronger, President Xi said.
"In a changing and turbulent international environment, it is important that China and Russia remain true to the original aspiration of cooperation, maintain strategic focus, enhance strategic coordination, continue to be each other's development opportunity and global partner, and strive to bring more benefits to the two peoples and greater stability to the world," President Xi said.
President Xi stressed that the two sides need to make good use of the existing working mechanisms and communication channels to push for more progress in practical cooperation in such areas as economy and trade, energy, finance and agriculture, advance the development of border ports and other infrastructure of connectivity, and expand cooperation in both traditional and new energy. The two sides need to leverage traditional strengths, further deepen people-to-people and cultural exchange, ensure another successful Year of Sports Exchange, and foster new brands of cultural exchange between the two countries.
Recently, China has adapted its COVID response measures in light of the evolving situation to better coordinate pandemic response and economic and social development, with the focus now on ensuring people's health and preventing severe cases. China stands ready to resume normal personnel exchange with Russia and all other countries in an orderly manner, President Xi said.
President Xi emphasized that the world has now come to another historical crossroads. To revert to a Cold War mentality, provoke division and antagonism, and stoke confrontation between blocs, or to act out of the common good of humanity to promote equality, mutual respect and win-win cooperation -- the tug of war between these two trends is testing the wisdom of statesmen in major countries as well as the reason of the entire humanity. Facts have repeatedly proven that containment and suppression is unpopular, and sanction and interference is doomed to fail.
China stands ready to join hands with Russia and all other progressive forces around the world who oppose hegemony and power politics, to reject any unilateralism, protectionism and bullying, firmly safeguard the sovereignty, security and development interests of the two countries and uphold international fairness and justice, he said.
President Xi said the two sides need to maintain close coordination and collaboration in international affairs, uphold the authority of the United Nations and the status of international law, stand for true multilateralism, and fulfill their responsibilities as major countries and lead by example on such issues as protecting global food and energy security. The two sides need to continue encouraging parties of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to enhance solidarity and mutual trust, show greater mutual support on issues concerning one another's core interests, and jointly resist interference and sabotage by external forces. BRICS cooperation has seen multiple highlights, which speaks volumes about the appeal and bright prospect of BRICS. China will work with Russia to actively advance BRICS membership expansion to bolster the strength of BRICS countries, and uphold the common interests of emerging market countries and developing countries.
President Putin said it is a great pleasure to continue with the good tradition of the two countries and have this virtual meeting with President Xi when the new year is around the corner to take stock of progress in Russia-China relations this year and draw a blueprint for cooperation in the year ahead.
He once again extended warm congratulations on behalf of the Russian people on the success of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and on President Xi's re-election as General Secretary of the CPC Central Committee. Under the able leadership of General Secretary Xi, China will continue to score new achievements in various fields of economic and social development, and China's international status and influence will be further enhanced.
Amid the complex and grave international situation, Russia-China relations have maintained a sound momentum of growth, with steady progress in cooperation in such areas as energy, agriculture, transportation, infrastructure, sports and people-to-people exchange. Russia-China relations have grown more resilient, mature and stable and strategic coordination between the two countries has assumed greater significance, setting a fine example of major-country relations in the 21st century, President Putin said.
Russia firmly supports China's position on the Taiwan question and stays firmly committed to the one-China principle. Russia looks forward to enhancing exchanges and contacts with China and actively advancing cooperation in various fields. As China optimizes its COVID response measures, people-to-people and cultural exchange between the two countries will continue to expand, he said.
President Putin said Russia commends China for its objective and impartial stance in international affairs, and speaks highly of China's work during its BRICS chairmanship. It stands ready to maintain close coordination with China at multilateral fora including the United Nations, the SCO, BRICS and the G20, jointly promote the building of a more just and reasonable international order, safeguard respective legitimate interests, and work together to uphold international fairness and justice.
The two presidents exchanged views on the Ukraine crisis. President Xi stressed that China has noted Russia's statement that it has never refused to resolve the conflict through diplomatic negotiations and China commends that. The path of peace talks will not be a smooth one, but as long as parties do not give up, there will always be prospect for peace. China will continue to hold an objective and impartial position, work to build synergy in the international community and play a constructive role toward peaceful resolution of the Ukraine crisis.
The two presidents also exchanged new year greetings, and wished the two peoples a happy new year and the two countries greater achievements in their development.
Wang Yi and He Lifeng were present at the meeting. (Updated)