China is a comprehensive partner in Eurasian union
The world today is facing unprecedented changes. China and Russia are both permanent members of the UN Security Council and have strong international influence. In the face of various risks and challenges, China and Russia have shouldered common responsibility. In addition to correctly handling relations between China, the United States and Russia, getting rid of the old thinking of "triangular relations" and not engaging in "two-to-one" confrontation, China and Russia have gradually promoted economic cooperation in accordance with market rules and mutually beneficial principles. At the same time, China and Russia actively promote China's Belt and Road Initiative to connect with the Eurasian Economic Union, promote market expansion and institutional innovation, and jointly promote the economic growth of China and Eurasian Economic Union member countries for mutual benefit.
China and Russia are about to usher in the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. During this period, they experienced two major events. On February 14, 1950, China and Russia signed the Sino-Soviet Treaty of Friendship, Alliance and Mutual Assistance and on July 16, 2001, they signed the Sino-Russian Good-Neighborly Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation. After 70 years, China-Russia relations are even stronger than before. The sustained and stable development of Sino-Russian relations is not only in the common interests of the two countries, but also an important strategic factor in world peace. To this end China and Russia, neighboring powerful countries, must be "friends from generation to generation and never be enemies." The permanent friendship between the two countries brings not only their own development, but is also a major contribution to enduring prosperity and peace in the world.
Mutual trust is an important issue in the relationship between countries. China and Russia, two great powers, are united by mutual trust and not suspicion. At the same time, China is a main partner for Russia, accounting for 16 percent of Russia's foreign trade. In 2018, trade volume between China and Russia reached $107.06 billion, a record high and an increase of 27.1 percent. The growth rate of Sino-Russian trade volume was first among China's trading partners. In the next five years, trade volume between the two countries is expected to reach $200 billion. It has laid a solid foundation for promoting the BRI and the Eurasian Economic Union.
Actively promote strategic integration of the BRI with the Eurasian Economic Union
Russia has a concept for a "Great Eurasian Partnership" and plans to develop bilateral and multilateral cooperation among Shanghai Cooperation Organization and ASEAN member states through the establishment of the Eurasian Economic Union. In the past five years, international interest in the Eurasian Economic Union has increased each year. There is no doubt the role of China is crucial. In May 2017 at the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing, Russian President Vladimir Putin made clear he supported China's BRI. On May 17, 2018, China and member countries of the Eurasian Economic Union signed the Economic and Trade Cooperation Agreement between the People's Republic of China and the Eurasian Economic Union in Astana, Kazakhstan. The agreement is the first of its kind between China and the union. The signing of this agreement lays the foundation for mutually beneficial cooperation among the five countries of the Eurasian Economic Union and China.
China is an important engine of world economic growth. Members of the Eurasian Economic Union have established close ties with China, promoting their own economic growth considerably. At the same time, China has a huge market and is highly attractive to producers in allied countries. The starting point of the two sides is to establish an extensive channel of economic integration through the strategic "docking" of the BRI with the Eurasian Economic Union based on the general principle of transparency in international trade. At present, China is a major trading partner of the Eurasian Economic Union. China's share of EEU trade rose from 16.2 percent in 2017 to 16.76 percent in 2018. By contrast, Germany and the Netherlands, the most important partners from the EU, account for only 8.7 and 7.3 percent of EEU trade, respectively. In addition, China's share of union exports reached 11.5 percent, compared with 19.8 percent of imports. In turn, the short-term goals of the Eurasian Economic Union have changed from a vision to a reality.
The author is a part-time researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and Shanghai Research Institute of the Shanghai Municipal People's Government.