Stable devt of China-Russia ties beneficial to world peace, prosperity: Global Times editorial

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet the press on May 16 in Beijing. Photo: Xinhua

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet the press on May 16 in Beijing. Photo: Xinhua

On May 16, Chinese President Xi Jinping held talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who is in China on a state visit, at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. The two heads of state jointly met the press, signed and issued the Joint Statement of the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation on Deepening the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership of Coordination for the New Era in the Context of the 75th Anniversary of China-Russia Diplomatic Relations (hereinafter referred to as the “Statement”). Under the strategic guidance of the two leaders, China and Russia have consistently developed their bilateral relations based on the principles of non-alignment, non-confrontation, and not targeting any third party, setting an example of peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation between major powers. This not only aligns with the fundamental interests of both countries and their peoples but also contributes to regional and global peace, stability, and prosperity.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Russia. Summarizing the notable progress in China-Russia relations over the past 75 years, President Xi said that it is attributable to the two countries’ commitment to five principles. First, China and Russia are committed to mutual respect as the fundamental principle of relations, and always render support for each other’s core interests. Second, China and Russia are committed to win-win cooperation as the driving force of relations, and work to foster a new paradigm of mutual benefit. Third, China and Russia are committed to lasting friendship as the foundation of relations, and carry forward the torch of Sino-Russian friendship. Fourth, China and Russia are committed to strategic coordination as an underpinning of relations, and steer global governance in the right direction. Fifth, China and Russia are committed to fairness and justice as the purpose of relations, and dedicated to the political settlement of hotspots. These “five principles” set an exemplary model for relations between neighboring major powers and will continue to guide China-Russia relations toward new successes.

The relationship between China and Russia, two major powers, is unique in the history of modern international relations. The two countries are not military-political allies, but rather represent a new model of major power relations characterized by non-alignment, non-confrontation, and not targeting any third country. The development of their relationship has its own internal logic and driving force. It is not a threat to any country, nor is it subject to any interference or discord sown by any third party. This is a summary of the extraordinary 75-year development history of China-Russia relations. Both countries respect each other’s national sovereignty, security, and development interests, as well as their own chosen development path, which is the “secret” to why their relationship has become a model for the development of partnerships between major powers and neighboring countries. As President Xi said, this is not only the correct way for China and Russia to get along, but also the direction that major-country relations should strive for in the 21st century.

The close cooperation between China and Russia is a driving force for stability in the international landscape. This year, Russia assumes the rotating presidency of the BRICS countries, and China will also take over the rotating presidency of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization within the year. The two countries work together to promote regional stability and development, strengthen the alignment between the Belt and Road Initiative and the Eurasian Economic Union, and jointly promote cooperation among the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the BRICS mechanism, and countries in the Global South. Both countries uphold multilateralism, oppose hegemony and unilateralism in international organizations such as the United Nations and the G20, effectively promoting the democratization and multipolarization of the global order, as well as firmly upholding international fairness and justice.

Currently, some countries are using “national security” as a pretext to promote deglobalization and group politics, kidnapping allies to push for “decoupling” and build “small yard, high fence.” This has increased the complexity and uncertainty of regional and global security situations. As permanent members of the UN Security Council, China and Russia share similar security views and maintain effective strategic communication. They jointly oppose zero-sum games and Cold War mentality, group politics, confrontational blocs, dividing the world based on ideology and political systems, and confrontational policies and interference in other countries’ internal affairs. This is a positive asset for the world. In the Statement, China and Russia propose that, given the current geopolitical context, it is necessary to explore the establishment of a sustainable security system in the Eurasian space based on the principles of equal and indivisible security, outlining a blueprint for achieving genuine regional common security.

In recent years, with Russia’s focus on “turning to the East” in foreign economic cooperation, China-Russia economic and trade cooperation has developed rapidly. China has been Russia’s largest trading partner for 13 consecutive years, accounting for 32 percent of Russia’s foreign trade. Russia became China’s fourth largest trading partner in 2023. These achievements are not easy and have been achieved by both countries overcoming various external challenges and unfavorable factors, highlighting the solid foundation of the China-Russia relationship. This year also marks the “China-Russia Years of Culture.” The two countries and their people have a strong driving force to enhance mutual understanding and continue lasting friendship through deepening cultural exchanges.

A mountain is formed by accumulation of soil and an ocean is formed by accumulation of water. After 75 years of solid accumulation, lasting friendship and all-round cooperation between China and Russia provide a strong impetus for the two countries to forge ahead despite wind and rain. In the future, guided by head-of-state diplomacy, the two countries, standing at a new historical starting point, will jointly promote the all-round development of the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for the new era, create more benefits for their peoples and make a due contribution to global security and stability.

Diplomatic Channel: Former French PM Raffarin signals high hopes for President Xi’s visit, emphasizes respect for civilizations, frank dialogue

Editor’s Note:

Chinese President Xi Jinping left Beijing on Sunday morning for state visits to France, Serbia and Hungary at the invitation of President Emmanuel Macron of the Republic of France, President Aleksandar Vucic of the Republic of Serbia, and President Tamás Sulyok and Prime Minister Viktor Orbán of Hungary. Ahead of his visit to France, Global Times reporters Chen Qingqing and Bai Yunyi
(GT) interviewed former French prime minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin
(Raffarin), talking about the significance of the state visit for China-France relations, reviewing the future development of bilateral ties, and discussing the role of China-France relations in China-EU relations.

Former French prime minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin Photo: Courtesy of Raffarin

Former French prime minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin Photo: Courtesy of Raffarin

GT:  This year marks the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between China and France. Could you share some important historical moments and achievements from these 60 years of China-France relations?

Raffarin: First of all, General de Gaulle’s decision to establish diplomatic relations with China in 1964 is itself historic. France’s support for the Chinese authorities in their fight against the SARS pandemic in 2003 was a major act, as were the opening of the Airbus factory in North China’s Tianjin and the commissioning of the first Franco-Chinese nuclear reactor in South China’s Guangdong Province. I am also very struck by the beauty of the Beijing Opera House designed by French architect Paul Andreu. There have been many joint creations across numerous fields. In 60 years, I have made more than 100 trips to China; 100 opportunities for very fruitful sharing.

GT: Over the last 60 years, what have been the changes and constants in China-France relations?

Raffarin: The constant is France’s desire for independence in its policy with China. The change has been the development of the European Union, which has made diplomatic work more complex. All French presidents have followed, in relation to China, Charles de Gaulle’s major orientations: Respect for civilizations, frank discussions, and co-responsibility for the future.

GT: In your opinion, what is the core element that has allowed these relations to withstand tests and continue to progress?

Raffarin: The central core is the mutual cultural appetite. 

Analyzing the differences in our two civilizations is particularly fruitful as demonstrated by the philosopher François Jullien. 

Culture is the heart of our relationship. The joint curiosity has been intact for centuries. This is the source of the respect that allows us to live with deep differences.

 

GT: How do you assess the current relations between China and France? Given the challenges of globalization and changes in the international political and economic situation, in which areas can China and France strengthen cooperation?


Raffarin: France has stable relations with China unlike many other countries, including in Europe. Chinese President Xi Jinping and French President Emmanuel Macron are two leading figures who know each other very well. They have spent hours and hours in discussion together. 

The priority of our future relations, in my opinion, is building peace. In the short term, it is to act together for peace in Ukraine. In the medium term, it is to build a new multilateralism capable of allowing peace and development on our common planet.

GT: In your opinion, what role do China-France relations play within the framework of China-Europe relations? How will Europe’s position in Chinese foreign policy evolve?

Raffarin: France’s role in Europe is very active. We defend our ideas vigorously in all European forums. Our vision for Europe’s strategic independence is gaining ground. 

We are allies of the US, but do not want to be aligned with their interests. Donald Trump’s place in the American debate convinced many European leaders that it is urgent to promote our sovereignty. 

I think that the China-France dialogue is the best way to bring about peaceful solutions.

GT:  2024 is the year of China-France culture and tourism, as well as the Olympic year for France. Could you present the plans for cultural cooperation and exchanges between China and France for this year?

Raffarin: Many public and private initiatives will mark this year. For example, the exhibition on Versailles and the Forbidden City are particularly creative. A cultural forum bringing together Chinese and French artists will take place in November in Deauville. France will be the guest of honor at the Shanghai Expo. And More than 100 initiatives are already being programmed. 

Cultural exchanges are the best medium for fostering mutual understanding and reciprocal respect.

GT:  What role do cultural and human exchanges play in China-France relations?

Raffarin: We will prioritize student exchanges because they are the best vectors for promoting joint projects and creating deep and authentic ties between the two countries.

GT: In the fields of emerging technologies, sustainable development, and green energy, how can China and France seek new opportunities for cooperation?

Raffarin: I think we need to work together on the theme that is very popular among young Chinese and French people, which I call “the Planetization of politics.” 

Only recently has the Planet become a political object. There is a shared conviction among the world’s youth: We must protect the Planet to protect Humanity. 

Global governance needs consensus to progress. It is around this theme that it should be possible to invent a new multilateralism that will correct the current multilateralism’s impotence.

GT:  Given the current uncertainty of the international commercial environment, what are the challenges and opportunities facing China-France economic cooperation? How do you view 2023’s debates in Europe on “de-risking” and this year’s on “over capacity” in China? 

Raffarin: We must understand our differences to avoid misunderstandings. There is a real consensus in Europe that public money should be used to help Europeans, for example, buy electric vehicles. But these subsidies are not intended to assist the production of foreign industries. 

Since the WTO is currently partially blocked, trade regulation should proceed through bilateral agreements. The only real way to cooperate sustainably is to balance concessions.

GT:  What are your expectations regarding the visit of the Chinese top leader to France?

Raffarin: Peace in Europe. Let’s remain faithful to the spirit of General de Gaulle when, 60 years ago, he decided to establish diplomatic relations with China. The differences were probably greater then than now, but the central idea was that our destinies are linked and thus the path of cooperation is more fruitful than confrontation. For this, direct and frank dialogue, understanding of each other’s interests and values, and respect for sovereignty are necessary.

GT

 

 

Blinken should fasten the ‘first button’ before landing in China: Global Times editorial

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken waves as he boards his plane at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, on April 23, 2024, on his way to Beijing. Photo: VCG

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken waves as he boards his plane at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, on April 23, 2024, on his way to Beijing. Photo: VCG

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken will visit China from April 24 to 26. Before his departure, the Department of North American and Oceanian Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs gave a preview to the media with more than 3,000 words and introduced the relevant information of this visit. China has expressed “welcome” to Blinken’s visit, and this attitude has not changed. At the same time, China gave a detailed explanation of the five major goals it focuses on for this visit, including establishing the right perception, strengthening dialogue, effectively managing differences, promoting mutually beneficial cooperation, and jointly shouldering responsibilities as major countries. China maintains flexibility in developing relations with the US, while also upholding seriousness on issues concerning China’s core interests.

China’s press briefing is timely for the public and the US side to correctly understand the significance and role of this interaction. As an important event for China and the US to implement the consensus reached by the two heads of state in San Francisco last year, China, while expressing its welcome to Blinken’s visit, also puts forward its expectations and views on the goals to be achieved by this trip. It takes about 20 hours to fly from Washington to Shanghai, which is enough time for Blinken and his team to look at the list carefully, so as to establish a correct understanding and button the “first button” before landing in China.

From the current trends in US public opinion, it is more evident how targeted this briefing from the Chinese side is. Just before Blinken’s visit to China, the US media continued to play the trick of “exerting pressure to demand concessions.” On the one hand, American media cited anonymous sources claiming that the US is drafting sanctions that could cut some Chinese banks off the global financial system, purportedly to increase “diplomatic leverage” for Blinken’s visit. On the other hand, the US State Department’s 2023 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices continued to spread lies about Xinjiang, falsely accusing China of engaging in so-called “ethnic genocide” and stating that Blinken would “raise human rights at the highest levels and in the clearest way.” The US attempts to spread misconceptions and misperceptions about China through its hegemony in certain circles. To be honest, this approach has been overused and is greatly discounted if relied upon repeatedly.

During the meeting between the heads of state of China and the US in San Francisco last year, President Xi Jinping proposed the “five pillars” to support the “San Francisco Vision” of China-US relations, with “jointly developing a right perception” occupying the foremost position. China focuses on five major goals for Blinken’s visit, with “establishing a right perception” still ranking first. Why does China-US relations continue to experience fluctuations, causing the international community to remain concerned? Why does the US side turn a normal visit into what seems like an “ultimatum”? The fundamental reason is that the US side has yet to establish a correct perception of China. If this issue is not resolved, it is like walking at night blindfolded and it will easily lead to mistakes and even danger.

As everyone knows, the so-called “ethnic genocide” in Xinjiang is an outright “lie of the century,” which has been debunked extensively worldwide. Even under the carefully crafted little iron curtain by Western media, the voices of justice exposing this lie are growing louder. Nevertheless, this “lie of the century” repeatedly appears in the so-called annual human rights report of the US State Department. Apart from raising doubts about the quality of the report, it also makes people see more clearly the true intentions of certain forces in the US to interfere in China’s internal affairs and suppress Chinese industries.

Behind this extreme phenomenon is a deeper issue: some of the differences between China and the US stem from either America’s fundamental misunderstanding of China’s true situation or deliberately portraying China as a rival of the US and distorting perceptions of China for the purpose of containing China. In recent years, the US’ misperceptions of China have led to severe difficulties in bilateral relations, a point that China has repeatedly emphasized to the US. However, US diplomacy tends to prioritize discussing issues from its own interests, adopting a so-called “pragmatic” approach. Combined with a style of acting that suggests “the US sets the standard for perception,” this approach often leads to self-righteous and absurd arguments regarding China’s perceptions, putting pressure on bilateral relations.

A three-day trip is not a short visit. It is able to cover extensive and in-depth discussions on a wide range of issues. China-US relations should stabilize and improve, moving forward on a path of stability, health, and sustainability. In this regard, there is ample room for imagination and cooperation for both countries. At the same time, China has its own interests to uphold, principles to defend, and bottom lines to maintain. Hopefully the US side remains sufficiently clear-minded and avoids any misjudgments.