The East Wind Brings Full Vitality of Spring
----State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi Talks About President Xi Jinping's Trip to Russia to Attend the Fourth Eastern Economic Forum (EEF
2018/09/14

From September 11 to 12, 2018, President Xi Jinping travelled to Russia to attend the Fourth Eastern Economic Forum (EEF) upon invitation. At the end of the trip, State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi introduced the visit to the accompanying reporters.

Wang Yi said that since September, China's diplomatic climax has been popping up constantly and filled with brilliance and wonder. The 2018 Beijing summit of the Forum on China-Africa Cooperation had just come to an end and then President Xi Jinping immediately went to Russia to attend the EEF. He and President Vladimir Putin jointly led the development of China-Russia relations in the new era and discussed regional peace and development plans with all parties of Northeast Asia. During his 30-hour stay in Vladivostok, President Xi Jinping attended 10-odd events, giving guidance at a great height and promoting cooperation in a down-to-earth manner; meanwhile, he had both frank and in-depth strategic communication, and warm and touching communication with the public. "The east wind brings full vitality of spring." President Xi Jinping's visit holds high the banner of peace, development, cooperation and win-win situation, adding new impetus to China-Russia relations, opening up new prospects for sub-national cooperation and injecting new momentum into international relations. In a complicated and eventful global political and economic context, China as a major country once again shows strong vitality in its diplomacy with Chinese characteristics, releasing strong positive energy and showcasing a broad outlook.

Wang Yi pointed out that President Xi Jinping's visit was tense in scheduling, rich in meaning and connotation and far-reaching in its influence. It is a trip to deepen mutual trust, enhance friendship, expand cooperation, and promote win-win situation.

I. Intensify the exchanges between the Chinese and Russian heads of state and improve the level of strategic collaboration

The strategic leadership and close exchanges between the Chinese and Russian heads of state are a vigorous driving force for the in-depth development of bilateral relations. This visit was the seventh visit to Russia since President Xi Jinping took office as the Chinese president. It was also the first time for him to attend the EEF, which has continued the tradition of China and Russia supporting each other to hold large-scale events. President Xi Jinping was warmly received by President Vladimir Putin. The two heads of state held three meetings altogether within four months. In a close and friendly atmosphere, they held large-scale, small-scale, and one-to-one talks which are thorough and smooth for quite a long time. They have made some deployments in developing a comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation between China and Russia, and exchanged views on major international and regional issues. Such gestures have reflected the high-level feature and particularity of China-Russian relations. President Xi Jinping emphasized that no matter how the international situation changes, China and Russia will firmly develop bilateral relations and staunchly safeguard world peace and stability. President Vladimir Putin expressed that Russia is willing to further strengthen cooperation with the Chinese side under the bilateral and multilateral frameworks and deepen Russia-China comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation in order to meet common challenges. The two sides agreed to maintain strategic strength, intensify strategic cooperation, firmly support each other and give each other solid fulcrum to defend the common interests of China and Russia and those of the international community. The two sides will continuously strengthen favorable collaboration in international affairs, work with the international community to advance the political settlement process of various hot spot issues, jointly oppose unilateralism and trade protectionism, uphold the concept of a community with a shared future for mankind, and promote the construction of the new international relations. These consensuses fully demonstrate that intensifying relations between China and Russia is the strategic decision and long-term choice of both sides. It can withstand the test of international vicissitudes, and will never be shaken by any external factor. The positive influence of China and Russia in international affairs has been expanding and the strategic stability role of both countries has become increasingly prominent. China and Russia have set an exemplary model for the relations among major countries and neighboring countries.

II. Inherit China-Russia everlasting friendship and continue the much-told story of exchanges between the two peoples

Friendship between the peoples holds the key to sound state-to-state relations. Attaching great importance to consolidating the traditional friendship between the Chinese and the Russian people, President Xi Jinping and President Vladimir Putin specially took time out of their busy schedules to attend friendly exchange activities between the two countries, which became one of the major highlights of this visit. This year coincides with the 10th anniversary of the event that children from the affected areas in Wenchuan earthquake of Sichuan Province went to Russia for recuperation. After that earthquake, more than 900 primary and secondary school students of the affected areas were warmly received and devotedly looked after at the Ocean All-Russia Children's Care Center, which had become a real reflection of sharing weal and woe between the two peoples. 10 years later, the two heads of state jointly met with the representatives of the two countries' teenagers who had forged profound friendship at the Ocean All-Russia Children's Care Center, listened to their expression of feelings about the reunion, watched them performing together, witnessed their initiative of the declaration of permanent friendship between Chinese and Russian teenagers, and warmly interacted and exchanged with them. The sincere and warm atmosphere moved all people present. President Xi Jinping thanked the Russian teaching and administrative staff for helping the Chinese teenagers dispel the gloom of disaster, and encouraged the two countries' teenagers to strive to be the pillars of their nations and the envoys of bilateral friendship, so as to make the cause of China-Russia everlasting friendship be carried forward from generation to generation with continuous progress. President Xi Jinping also invited the teachers and students at the Ocean All-Russia Children's Care Center to visit China to continue the new much-told story of bilateral friendly exchanges. At the invitation of President Vladimir Putin, President Xi Jinping attended the awarding ceremony of the Fareast Cup International Regatta 2018. The two heads of state supported the two countries in actively holding large-scale sports events to enhance exchanges in sports and people-to-people and cultural engagement. President Xi Jinping stressed that the two sides should promote the institutionalization and normalization of sub-national people-to-people and cultural exchanges between China and Russia, and deepen understanding and perception on each other's cultural traditions. We believe that under the care and cultivation of the two heads of state, the trickles of mutual understanding and affinity between the two peoples will constantly converge into the magnificent river of China-Russia everlasting friendship, and become the inexhaustible driving force for the development of bilateral relations.

III. Deepen the convergence of interests between China and Russia and bring out the potential for sub-national cooperation

As each other's biggest neighboring country, China and Russia share strong endogenous driving force for cooperation in various fields. During this visit, President Xi Jinping and President Vladimir Putin charted the course for China-Russia practical cooperation in the next phase, and decided through consultation to continue deepening the integration between the joint construction of the Belt and Road Initiative and the Eurasian Economic Union. The two sides agreed to focus on strengthening cooperation in such fields as energy, agriculture, scientific and technological innovation and finance, steadily advance major strategic projects, and actively foster new growth points for cooperation, so as to translate the advantage of high-level political relations between both countries into more outcomes of practical cooperation. President Xi Jinping invited President Vladimir Putin to attend the 2nd Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in China next year, and President Vladimir Putin agreed immediately with pleasure. The two heads of state jointly visited a photo exhibition of economic and trade cooperation between China and Russia, and witnessed the signing of a series of bilateral cooperation documents, showing the broad space of bilateral cooperation. Sub-national cooperation is one of the main lines of China-Russia cooperation. The two heads of state jointly attended the dialogue between Chinese and Russian regional leaders, and also visited and inspected the Far East Street exhibition, and personally promoted sub-national cooperation. President Xi Jinping stressed that the two sides should ride the trend of the years of China-Russia local cooperation and exchange in 2018 and 2019 to strengthen overall coordination, make innovation in cooperation thoughts, and deeply explore complementary advantages, so as to open the new era for bilateral sub-national cooperation. The two sides should make good use of the two major sub-national cooperation mechanisms, namely China's Northeast-Russia's Far East and the Yangtze River-Volga River, and promote the integration of the Chinese side's regional development plans including the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, the Yangtze River Delta Economic Zone and the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area with the development strategies of various federal districts of the Russian side, so as to make sub-regional cooperation extend from adjacent areas to inland areas. President Xi Jinping's visit this time vigorously expanded the China-Russia sub-national cooperation pattern, and was of important significance for advancing China's domestic coordinated development strategies, for improving the development and cooperation in the Far East, and for deepening the convergence of interests between the two countries.

IV. Steer the direction of sub-national cooperation and open up the prospects for mutual benefit and win-win results

The EEF is an important platform for international cooperation in the Far East of Russia, and also an important opportunity for Northeast Asian countries to pool wisdom and discuss cooperation. As Northeast Asia enjoys generally stable and sound situation at present, strengthening sub-national cooperation faces more favorable conditions. In his speech at the plenary session of the EEF, President Xi Jinping put forward four propositions: enhance mutual trust to safeguard regional peace and tranquility; deepen cooperation to achieve mutual benefit and win-win results for all countries; learn from each other to consolidate the traditional friendship of the people; and take a long-term perspective to realize integrated and coordinated development. These important propositions conform to the development trend of the times and meet the interests of all parties in the region, formulating a clear and feasible roadmap for creating a better future in Northeast Asia. On the occasion of the 5th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative, President Xi Jinping focused on regional sustainable development, upheld the concept of extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits, and advocated that all parties should actively carry out the alignment of development strategies, focus on improving the level of cross-border infrastructure connectivity and trade and investment liberalization and facilitation and vigorously promote mini-lateral cooperation and sub-regional cooperation, which received support and response from all parties present at the Forum. As a Chinese saying goes, "Virtue is not left to stand alone. He who practices it will have neighbors." As an important member of Northeast Asia, China has always been committed to participating in sub-national cooperation, promoting exchanges and dialogues among various countries, and creating a harmonious and friendly neighboring environment, which demonstrates the image of a responsible and constructive major country with commitment. Such gestures make China's space for cooperation with foreign countries become broader and wider, and the path of peaceful development become smoother, as well as the concept of mutual benefit and win-win results get deeper in the hearts of the people.

On the sidelines of the EEF, President Xi Jinping also conducted friendly exchanges with the leaders of the participating countries to deepen mutual trust and cooperation. When meeting with President Khaltmaa Battulga of Mongolia, the two sides agreed to well grasp the right direction of China-Mongolia relations, well safeguard the political foundation with practical actions, vigorously promote the integration of the Belt and Road Initiative and the Development Road Initiative, and expand exchanges and cooperation in the adjoining border areas. President Xi Jinping held a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Shinzo Abe of Japan, during which he pointed out that China-Japan relations are entering a normal track and face important opportunities for improvement and development. China and Japan should consolidate the political foundation, grasp the right direction, enhance mutual understanding, expand common interests, manage and control differences in a constructive manner, and carry out benign interactions. Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said that the Japanese side's desire to improve and develop relations with China is sincere and the Japanese side determines to make efforts in this regard to promote new and greater development of the relations between the two countries.

At last, Wang Yi said that President Xi Jinping's visit this time is a practical, targeted and efficient "acupoint stimulating" visit, which is conducive to the benign interactions of major-country relations and to the greater intensity of the neighborhood diplomacy. It is an important practice for China to build a community with a shared future for its neighboring countries and mankind. It demonstrates the broad and great international vision and the manner and demeanor of a confident and calm leader of a major country. The world today is facing huge changes that have never been seen in the past hundred years. Diversification is the solution to the numerous and complicated international affairs and one should have high aspirations to handle them with great ease. We should take Xi Jinping's thought on diplomacy of socialism with Chinese characteristics for a new era as the guide, observe the general trend, plan the overall situation, seize opportunities, properly deal with challenges, and advance external work in a well-planned and coordinated way, so as to provide a better guarantee for realizing the two centenary goals and the Chinese Dream of the great rejuvenation of the Chinese nation, and make greater contributions to the advancement of the cause of human progress of peace and development.

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