From May 20, 2014, Russian president Vladimir Putin will pay a state visit to China and attend the Shanghai CICA Summit. Three focuses of this significant visit are attracting much attention.
First, what is the position of the China-Russia relationship at this new stage?
In recent years, some media have speculated on the "China-Russia alliance". In a live Russian TV show "Putin on line" at the end of April, President Putin said frankly: "Russia doesn't plan to forge a military and political alliance with China." He went on to elaborate: "Russia and China are natural neighbors, so we are natural allies. But we don't need to forge an alliance based on old-fashioned group politics. Currently, bilateral relations are developing very smoothly and mutual trust and cooperation have reached new heights."
We can expect that through Mr. Putin's visit, China and Russia can further explore the potential of this comprehensive strategic partnership, and take full advantage of the present positioning of bilateral ties.
Secondly, how to enhance practical cooperation between the two countries?
There are two ideas worthy of note on practical cooperation between China and Russia. One is to press forward strongly with cooperation on major projects. In the context that the trade structure cannot be transformed in the short term, cooperation on major projects will ensure the sustainable development of bilateral trade and economic cooperation and play a major role in practical cooperation between the two countries. A second is to develop the Far East region. The policies of China and Russia overlap in developing the Far East region: Russia makes it a priority and China is interested in participating. Recently, agreement has been reached on several major deals: a 5 billion USD financing agreement between China Development Bank and the Far East Development Ministry of Russia for Chinese companies to participate in the development of the Far East, CNPC's purchase of 20% of the shares in the Yamal project of Novatek, and the laying of the foundations for the first cross-border railway bridge between China and Russia.
Thirdly, how to move forward on international cooperation?
Due to the Ukraine crisis, Russia is under pressure from the international community, which lends extra importance to President Putin's trip. On the Ukraine crisis, China is maintaining an impartial stance, which is valued highly by the Russian side. Maintaining international law is not an empty phrase - we will be ready to deal with hegemonism, power politics and neo-interventionism at any time.
Both Russia and China wish to strengthen international strategic cooperation and further support each other on issues concerning core benefits. Judged against the current international situation, both countries will attach more importance to cooperation within the framework of the BRICS countries, SCO, G20, etc. This is very likely to be the Russian position against the backdrop of the Ukraine crisis.
The article is edited and translated from《普京访华的三大看点》, source: People's Daily Overseas Edition, author: Ou Yi.