China-Russia relations are cordial in all respects. The comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination between the two countries runs deep and has made substantial progress in recent years. The upcoming visit of Chinese President Xi Jinping to Russia will further consolidate the friendship between the neighbors.
By finding a proper way to get along, China and Russia have kept a stable and mature relationship, which has become a model for major countries. This year marks the 70th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two nations. Relations go back to the times of the Soviet Union. When the People’s Republic of China was founded in 1949, the Soviet Union was the first country in the world to recognize it, marking the beginning of diplomatic relations.
In the past seven decades, the two sides wound their way through confrontations, even bloody conflicts. Both countries have learned a lesson from history: Peace benefits both. Especially today, amid an overdose of hegemonism and unilateralism, stable and mature ties between Beijing and Moscow are strategically important to world peace, contemporary development, multilateralism and globalization.
Some disputes between China and Russia had stemmed from ideological differences, others were about national interests, and yet some were caused by divergence in opinion or lack of communication. Afterward, both sides have stuck to a basic principle: cooperation on the basis of equality. When there is dispute, they sit across the table rather than pressuring each other to find a way out. In this way, tensions between Beijing and Moscow had been eased and they finally built a healthy relationship.
The way China and Russia treat each other is in sharp contrast with some big power being fond of unilateralism and using hegemony to settle scores with other countries.
On May 29, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Maxim Akimov said at the fifth China-Russia Think Tank Forum in Moscow that based on current cooperation, China and Russia will further promote the integration of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) within the framework of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).
Some Russian scholars and public sentiment were once skeptical of the BRI, but they changed their mind after doing more research and China clarifying their doubts. Through consultation and communication, Russia became aware that the BRI is conducive to the development of China and Russia, and it will also benefit a wider region surrounding the countries.
The heated discussion about the collaboration of EAEU with the BRI in recent editions of St. Petersburg International Economic Forum was the result of Russia changing its approach, which has manifested itself in mature Beijing-Moscow relations.
Both China and Russia are developing. Russia is the largest country in the world in terms of land area, China is the country with biggest population, and the two share a long border. They are complementary in economy and thus it is normal for them to strengthen economic links. Given the cooperation in energy as an example, a stable supply of petroleum and natural gas is important for China’s rapid growth. On the other hand, by exporting energy resources, Russia can earn foreign currency to boost development. The trade volume between China and Russia in 2018 reached $100 billion, the highest in history.
The political, diplomatic, economic and military cooperation between China and Russia are consistent with long-term interests of their people and the world. Besides, the two countries are stepping up people-to-people exchange, narrowing the cultural gap.
China-Russia relations and their cooperation mechanism are significant to both countries and the regional stability and development, acting as a stabilizer in a complex international situation. The new type of major country relations have been demonstrated under the framework of the BRI.
It is quite normal to have doubts and contradictions in global exchanges. Many problems can be properly dealt with through peaceful consultation and mutual understanding rather than suspicion and conflicts.