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Meeting of good neighbors

By Feng Yujun | China Daily | Updated: 2013-03-22 07:05

Xi Jinping's visit to Russia shows importance of ties and will further advance economic and strategic cooperation

President Xi Jinping will visit Russia from March 22 to 24 at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin. This will be the first overseas trip for Xi as president, demonstrating the importance the new Chinese leadership attaches to relations with Russia and the important position the countries have in each other's foreign policy and national strategy.

During the visit, the two leaders will further consolidate political mutual trust, laying a solid political foundation for the healthy development of bilateral relations. It is expected that a number of agreements on energy, high-tech and financial cooperation will be finalized, further advancing bilateral pragmatic cooperation. On the diplomatic front, both parties will exchange views, seek consensus and coordinate positions over regional situations of common concern, hot-spot issues and global governance.

Both leaders will also attend the opening ceremony of the "China Tourism Year" in Russia, which aims to promote cultural exchanges between the two countries.

The world is undergoing profound and complex changes: The global economy has not yet emerged from the shadow of the financial crisis, the global balance of power is undergoing a historic shift and the international strategic situation is experiencing a strategic adjustment. Despite peace and development being the trend of the times, geopolitical competition has not come to an end.

Against this background, some in China suggest aligning with Russia in order to balance the US' strategic containment of China; some in Russia want to watch from a hilltop while two tigers fight, seeking to profit from any China-US rifts; and some Western strategists deliberately exaggerate the differences between China and Russia and call for Russia to join in the building of a "Great West" to contain China's rise.

All these policy suggestions consciously or unconsciously ignore the historical development of relations between China and Russia, the strategic needs of their joint rise and their common responsibility in the face of global challenges.

In the current volatile global situation, China-Russia relations must adhere to the strategic principle of "good-neighborliness and friendliness, equality and mutual trust, nonalignment, nonconfrontation and not targeting third countries, and both sides view each other's revitalization as their own opportunity for development, making efforts to tap their endogenous potential to achieve common development". Meanwhile, China and Russia should face up to the lack of leadership in a multipolar world, plan their future development with strategic thinking, and unite to jointly cope with global challenges.

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