The Kremlin witnessed on July 1, 2005 the second handshake between the heads of China and Russia within two months. It is also the first state visit by Chinese President Hu Jintao to Russia after Russian President Vladimir Putin assumed his second term. It is anticipated that this visit will reap great successes.
The mutual visits between Chinese and Russian senior leaders are constantly consolidating the foundation of political mutual trust between the two countries. In recently years, heads of the two countries met at least three times a year and often exchanged their opinions on major issues through telephone.
Moreover, mechanisms of multi-rank and multi-level regular meetings such as between prime ministers and foreign ministers of the two countries have been operating smoothly over the years. The foundation of mutual trust in politics vigorously forged by the leaders of the two countries has created conditions for broader international strategic cooperation and bilateral pragmatic cooperation.
As permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, China and Russia are increasingly enhancing close consultations and collaboration on major international issues. The joint declaration by the two countries on global multi-polarization in 1997 was well received in the international community. Now, what considerations China and Russia have in light of the new changes in the world are particularly noteworthy.
Li Hui, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs, recently told domestic and foreign media that during the visit president Hu would have extensive and in-depth exchange of opinions with president Putin on further deepening China-Russia strategic partnership of cooperation and major international and regional issues such as the UN reform, the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula, the Iran nuclear issue, the situation in Central Asia and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) etc. The two sides planned to issue a political document setting forth the two sides' opinions and proposals on major international and regional issues.
Pragmatic cooperation determines the sustainable development of the friendly relations. For many years China has been one of the countries with the fastest economic growth in the world. Russia also realized economic growth six years in a row. All these continue to explore new space for the pragmatic cooperation between the two countries. The China-Russia trade volume set a new record of $21.2 billion last year.
In last October, the heads of the two countries jointly approved the implementation outlines for the Sino-Russian Treaty of Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation, making master plan for future cooperation in various areas between the two countries and proposing to increase the bilateral trade to $60 billion to $80 billion in 2010 and China's investment in Russia to $12 billion by 2020.
It is reported that president Hu Jintao's visit is to further exchange opinions on carrying out the implementation outlines, discuss effective ways of strengthening economic and trade cooperation including optimizing the trade structure, standardizing the trade order, expanding project investment, promoting large-project cooperation and advancing cooperation in high-tech areas.
Strengthening cooperation between regions of the two countries is also a major objective of president Hu's visit. The Chinese government is carrying out the development of the western region and revitalization of the old industrial base of northeastern region while the Russian government has also formulated the strategy of developing its Far East and Siberia. Local development strategies drawn up by the two countries offer both sides new opportunities to enhance cooperation between regions.
To seize the opportunity and promote in-depth development of such cooperations, president Hu will hold talks with the local leaders in New Siberia and make suggestions and proposals in this regard.
We have every reason to believe that president Hu's ongoing visit is a visit that merits expectation and will bring blessings to the Chinese and Russian peoples.
This is an article carried on the front page of People's Daily Overseas Edition on July 1, and translated by People's Daily Online