President of Russia Vladimir Putin: President Xi Jinping, ladies and gentlemen, friends,
It is our sincere pleasure to welcome our dear friend, President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping to Russia on this state visit.
The talks we had yesterday and today, including one-on-one, in a narrow format and in the presence of our delegations were successful, and took place in a warm, comradely, and constructive atmosphere.
The two joint statements we have just signed set forth a framework and fully reflect the special nature of Russian-Chinese relations, which are at the highest level in all our history, offering a model of a genuine comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation. Russia and China share solid bonds of neighbourly relations, mutual support and assistance, and friendship between our peoples. We maintain proactive dialogue at all levels.
The President of China and I remain in touch at all times. Apart from bilateral summits, we meet on the sidelines of international events, and regularly talk to each other on the phone and by videoconference to discuss matters of mutual interest. This enables us to resolve all issues, even the most challenging ones, and to oversee all topical matters on the bilateral and international agenda.
Of course, trade and economic cooperation remain a priority for us, considering that China has solidly established itself as the leading foreign trade partner for our country. Our two countries have been effective in working together to expand mutual trade and maintain this momentum. Last year, trade increased by 30 percent to set a new record of $185 billion. This year, trade may well exceed $200 billion, which would be a symbolic threshold.
The Joint Statement concerning the plan to expand key economic cooperation areas until 2030 sets the task of increasing the volume of trade in goods and services multiple times over, deepening ties in eight strategic areas, primarily finance, industrial manufacturing and technology, as well as transport and logistics. The governments of Russia and China, the business circles of our two countries should start without delay the practical study of the provisions of the Statement and agree on a set of measures for implementing them replete with specific mutually beneficial initiatives and projects.
Expanding settlements between our countries in national currencies is a serious incentive for promoting trade and investment cooperation. As of the end of the first three quarters of 2022, the share of the ruble and yuan in mutual commercial transactions reached 65 percent and continues to grow, which allows us to protect mutual trade from the influence of third countries and negative trends on global currency markets.
Naturally, energy cooperation which is moving forward at a good pace was reviewed in detail during the talks. China is the leading importer of Russian oil, while Russia is prepared to scale up uninterrupted oil supplies for the Chinese economy.
The gas sector offers broad prospects for Russian-Chinese cooperation. In 2022, Russia increased gas supplies to China via the Power of Siberia main pipeline by 50 percent, and Gazprom met its Chinese colleagues halfway and made additional deliveries on top of contractual obligations, which, of course, speaks to what a trustworthy supplier and a reliable partner our company is.
Russian gas exports to China will get a boost from the implementation of the intergovernmental agreement concluded in January on laying the Far Eastern gas route and the implementation of an initiative to build the Power of Siberia-2 gas pipeline across Mongolia. We discussed this in detail and have reached corresponding agreements with Mongolia. This represents about 50 billion cubic metres of gas per year. Russia is also the fourth largest LNG supplier to China, and LNG supplies will expand in the foreseeable future.
Interaction on peaceful nuclear power is progressing successfully. Russia is helping build nuclear power plants in China: the construction of units 7 and 8 at the Tianwan NPP and units 3 and 4 of the Xudabao NPP is on track, to be completed as scheduled. The implementation of the Long-term Cooperation Programme that was signed during the visit by Rosatom and the China Atomic Energy Authority will help strengthen partnerships in this area.
We attach great importance to the further strengthening of bilateral industrial cooperation. Chinese automakers are successfully operating on the Russian market and expanding their presence. Major joint projects are being implemented in civil aircraft and helicopter production, non-ferrous metallurgy, space exploration, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, as well as other science-intensive areas.
Agriculture is a strategic area of Russian-Chinese partnership. Bilateral agricultural trade is skyrocketing: last year it grew by more than 41 percent. There are opportunities to significantly increase exports of meat, grain and other goods to China.
Let me note in this context that in general Russia and China intend to actively develop international transport and logistics corridors. The idea is to make greater use of the potential of the Trans-Siberian and Baikal-Amur railways, the Northern Sea Route, and multi-lane trans-Asian highways, to guarantee their stable operation together, and to make the transportation of goods and passengers more efficient.
In order to ensure that the volume of cargo flows is growing in both directions, we are increasing the capacity of border crossings and consistently expanding the border infrastructure. Thus, two new cross-border bridges opened last year: a motor bridge in the Blagoveshchensk Region and a railway bridge in the Jewish Autonomous Region of Russia.
Bilateral cultural cooperation is traditionally multifaceted. After the anti-COVID restrictions were lifted, cultural, scientific, educational and tourist exchanges have begun to gradually return to their usual excellent dynamics, which in fact contribute to the further deepening of friendship, mutual understanding and sincere affection between Russian and Chinese citizens.
Let me remind you that 2022–2023 were declared Cross Years of Russian-Chinese Cooperation in Fitness and Sports in our countries. The plan of events is being implemented; there are over 600 events that include such spheres as mass, youth and university sports, sports science, elite sports and Paralympic sports.
And of course, we are looking forward to welcoming a delegation of Chinese athletes next spring in Kazan at the I Games of the Future International Multisport Tournament in innovative sports. These competitions combine physical activity with digital and scientific elements. This is a very promising initiative that is a draw for young people, which we could promote together with our Chinese friends, and in this regard, we invited them to host the second such Games in China.
When discussing topical international and regional problems, the President and I affirmed that Russia and China’s views on them are identical or very close.
We noted the rise of tensions in many regions of the world, and the accumulation of conflict and crisis potential in the global economy and politics. We can see that the practice of applying illegitimate, politically biased sanctions and other restrictions, and the use of other means of unfair competition in the economic struggle is expanding.
Seemingly unshakable principles, such as non-interference in internal affairs, the rights of countries to a sovereign model of development, freedom of trade, access to modern technologies and even to education, are being violated. And in this context, Russia and China strongly oppose any state or bloc seeking to harm the legitimate interests of any other country in order to obtain military, political and economic advantages.
Of course, we did not ignore developments around Ukraine. We believe that many of the provisions of the peace plan put forward by China are consonant with Russian approaches and can be taken as the basis for a peaceful settlement when the West and Kiev are ready for it. However, so far, we have not seen such readiness on their part. Moreover, I was just informed that while the Chinese President and I were discussing the possibility of implementing the Chinese peace plan – and the Chinese President devoted considerable attention to his peace initiatives during our one-on-one conversation yesterday – the UK deputy defence minister announced that the United Kingdom would supply not only tanks to Ukraine, but also depleted uranium shells.
It seems that the West really has decided to fight Russia to the last Ukrainian – no longer in words, but in deeds. But in this regard, I would like to note that if all this comes to pass, then Russia will have to respond accordingly. What I mean is that the collective West is already starting to use weapons with a nuclear component.
At the same time, I would like to emphasise that Russia and China pursue an independent and sovereign foreign policy. We jointly work to create a more just and democratic multipolar world order, which should be based on the central role of the UN, its Security Council, international law, and the purposes and principles of the UN Charter.
We consider it important to continue to maintain close coordination within the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and BRICS, to work in conjunction with the G20, APEC and many other multilateral platforms, and, of course, to continue efforts to link integration processes within the EAEU and the Chinese Belt and Road initiative with an eye to creating the Greater Eurasian Partnership in the future.
In conclusion, I would like to once again thank Mr Xi Jinping and all our Chinese friends for the productive joint work and to express confidence that the agreements reached during the visit will serve to further strengthen Russian-Chinese friendship and contribute to the well-being and prosperity of our countries and peoples.
Thank you for your attention.
President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping (retranslated): Mr President, friends from the media, good evening,
I am very glad to meet with you together with President Putin.
First of all, I would like to thank President Putin for the traditional hospitality and warm welcome extended to me and the Chinese delegation. Three years later, I am back in Moscow on my first foreign visit and state visit to Russia after my re-election as President of the PRC.
For 10 years, President Putin and I have maintained close communication; we are in contact on strategic matters and promote productive strategic interaction between the two countries.
I have just had very candid, friendly and productive talks with President Putin. There was an exchange of views on the bilateral agenda, as well as international and regional priorities of mutual interest. A number of new important agreements have been reached.
We signed the Joint Statement on Deepening Comprehensive Partnership and Strategic Cooperation for a New Era and the Joint Statement on the Plan to Promote Key Elements of Chinese-Russian Economic Cooperation until 2030 and outlined a plan for the further development of bilateral relations and cooperation in all areas in the short term. A large package of cooperation documents was signed.
President Putin and I summed up the results of developing bilateral relations over the past 10 years and agreed that Chinese-Russian ties have gone far beyond bilateral relations and are of vital importance for the modern world order and the destiny of humankind.
Bilateral contacts and cooperation are moving forward in all areas based on the principles of neighbourliness, friendship and mutually beneficial cooperation.
In the new historical circumstances, the parties will evaluate and develop Chinese-Russian relations based on a broad and farsighted outlook, thereby making the greatest possible contribution to the progress of humankind.
Chinese-Russian multifaceted practical cooperation, which is distinguished by great stability, complementarity and resilience, has been proceeding fruitfully since earlier last year.
Over the past decade, trade increased by 116 percent, which allowed us not only to consolidate the economic foundations of our bilateral relations, but also to create a meaningful impetus for promoting socioeconomic development both in Russia and China. We had to go great lengths to achieve this result.
President Putin and I agreed to step up our comprehensive planning efforts at the top level, increase trade in energy, resources and electronics, make our respective value chains more resilient, while expanding cooperation in IT, the digital economy, agriculture and trade in services. We agreed to develop conventional trade sectors alongside emerging industries in a complementary and synchronised manner, and to continue providing for uninterrupted cross-border logistics flows and shipments.
We spoke out unanimously for expanding cultural and humanitarian exchanges and stepping up twinned relations between our provinces and regions, enabling twin town and cities to step up their relations, and for effectively holding cross years for promoting cooperation in physical fitness and sport. This also includes enabling our people to travel between our two countries with greater ease.
We stated that as permanent members of the UN Security Council, China and Russia will stand with the international community and firmly defend fundamental international norms as per the goals and principles of the UN Charter.
We will strengthen our cooperation within multilateral structures, including the SCO, BRICS, and the Group of Twenty, and will promote genuine multipolarity in a bid to facilitate post-pandemic global economic recovery, all while stepping up our constructive efforts to shape a multipolar world and improve global governance. This includes contributing to global food security, energy security and the uninterrupted operation of supply and value chains and working together to shape a community of common destiny for humankind.
In February, China released its position on the political settlement of the Ukraine crisis. Regarding the Ukraine settlement, I would like to emphasise that we have always upheld our unwavering commitment to the goals and principles of the UN Charter, adopting an objective and unbiased position. We have been proactive in promoting reconciliation and the resumption of talks. In our approach, we proceed from the essence of the matter in question and only seek the truth. We always support peace and dialogue, and firmly stand on the right side of history.
I hope that President Vladimir Putin and I will maintain close contacts in various formats paving the way to the steady and lasting development of China-Russia relations.
Thank you for your attention.