MOSCOW, Feb. 5 -- At the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping is set to attend the opening ceremony of the 22th Winter Olympics in Sochi. The two leaders will conduct bilateral meetings in the Black Sea resort city.
It is the second consecutive year that Xi has chosen Russia as the first destination for his overseas trips, and that serves as a potent proof of the special bond between the two nations.
Xi's presence at the Sochi Winter Olympics shows the world that China firmly supports Russia in hosting a successful sports event. Meanwhile, it is also another case in point that the two sides have each other's support over issues of major concern.
While in Russia, the atmosphere has been warm and positive as both officials and ordinary people are enthusiastically looking forward to Xi's visit. The trip is widely viewed as an important symbol of true friendship between the two neighbors.
As a matter of fact, the China-Russia relations have shown greater potential for growth, thanks to efforts by top leaders on both sides.
Firstly, as permanent members of the UN Security Council and influential global players, China and Russia will maintain close contact and coordination on major international and regional issues, such as the Syria crisis and the Iran nuclear issue, and continue to promote regional stability and world peace.
Secondly, the two sides will continue to strengthen their practical cooperation in economy so as to help sustain healthy development of their respective national economies. Measures planned for the year 2014 include optimization of the bilateral-trade structure, expansion of mutual investment and closer cooperation at local levels.
Thirdly, the two countries will conduct activities to promote exchanges between their youths in the coming two years, following the success of reciprocal "National Year" activities, as well as the theme years to promote each other's language and tourism resources.
Year 2013 has witnessed remarkable progress in the development of the China-Russia ties, as the two countries further enhanced cooperation within various frameworks including the United Nations, the emerging economies of BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. Their close coordination also became a more significant factor for the balanced development of international relations.
Observers on both sides believe that Xi's ongoing Russian tour will sustain the good momentum in 2013 and bring fresh impetus to the development of bilateral ties.
As Xi said in his new year message to Putin at the beginning of 2014, a strong, high-level China-Russia relationship is a blessing for both peoples and also the peoples of the whole world, and further development of the China-Russia ties will bring benefits to the two neighbors and beyond.