Chinese President Xi Jinping was on a two-day visit to Russia from July 3 to 4. During his visit, Xi and his counterpart Vladimir Putin agreed upon multiple joint statements, vowing to deepen the comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination.
The first, most important joint statement , published on July 4 immediately after North Korea conducted its first test of an intercontinental ballistic missile, dealt with the Korean Peninsula issue. As The Diplomat reported earlier, China had gained Russia’s support on the North Korea issue in May and both sides emphasized their absolute positions on a “non-military solution” multiple times. What is noteworthy this time is that the July 4 joint statement is actually the first such statement issued under the name of both Foreign Ministries in ten years. The statement’s prompt timing as well as the signing parties demonstrates the highest-level consensus and determination between both countries. Given that Russia and China are both the permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, the joint statement implies a strong alliance between the big two on the issue, which could be a double-edged sword for both North Korea and the United States.
The second joint statement, signed by Xi and Putin, is on the current world situation and major international issues. The statement claims that both countries share the same view and position on these issues, ranging from supporting internationalization and multilateral cooperation, to opposing terrorism and weapons of mass destruction. According to the statement:
Both sides believe that the current international system is moving towards multi-polarization. The rise of emerging markets and developing countries has become an irresistible historical trend. Meanwhile… the negative factors affecting global stability are increasing around the world; cold war mentality and hegemony still exist; and non-traditional security threats such as terrorism, refugee crisis, major infectious diseases, and climate change are spreading.
While the joint statement above sounds more like an ideological manifesto, the third joint statement on deepening comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination, also signed by Xi and Putin, is more practical and detailed. It covers five main areas: political mutual trust, economic cooperation, security cooperation, cultural exchange, and international cooperation. In each area, specific plans and projects are mentioned and put forward.
During his meet with Putin, Xi said China and Russia are “good neighbors, good friends, and good partners.” He added that bilateral relations “are now the best ever.”
In addition to the “best-ever” bilateral relations, Xi and Putin also have close personal relations as “dear friends.” According to CCTV.com, the website of China’s biggest official TV station, Xi once told Putin that they both shared a similar personality and found each other “congenial.”