Xi-Putin meet shows value of coun­tries’ ties

Global Times - Weekend - - OPINION -

Pres­i­dent Xi Jin­ping and Rus­sian Pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin met on Fri­day on the side­lines of the Asia-Pa­cific Eco­nomic Co­op­er­a­tion (APEC) summit in Da Nang, Viet­nam. The China-Rus­sia com­pre­hen­sive strate­gic part­ner­ship of co­or­di­na­tion is one of the key pil­lars that have made the great­est con­tri­bu­tion to sup­port­ing the cur­rent in­ter­na­tional or­der.

China-Rus­sia ties have de­vel­oped steadily in re­cent years. The two coun­tries have cre­ated a lot of im­pact on ma­jor is­sues through their strate­gic co­op­er­a­tion amid the com­pli­cated in­ter­na­tional en­vi­ron­ment. But the way some peo­ple in China see Rus­sia has been deeply in­flu­enced by Western pub­lic opin­ion and they fail to un­der­stand the value of China-Rus­sia re­la­tions.

Some in China be­lieve that all that mat­ters is China’s re­la­tions with the US and the West. They be­lieve that Rus­sia is un­re­li­able and keen on find­ing fault with China. This per­cep­tion is ide­o­log­i­cal think­ing. Such a voice is mar­ginal in China.

China-Rus­sia re­la­tions re­main firm. The two na­tions have de­vel­oped a high level of po­lit­i­cal trust and the mech­a­nism for the reg­u­lar ex­change of vis­its be­tween lead­ers of the two coun­tries. Heads of the two coun­tries would hold bi­lat­eral meet­ings on al­most all oc­ca­sions when they are both present. The two coun­tries also co­or­di­nate more closely on ma­jor in­ter­na­tional is­sues, and mil­i­tary ex­changes be­tween the two na­tions have also been con­tin­u­ously en­hanced. Bi­lat­eral trade may not be that im­pres­sive but the prospects are good.

But the two coun­tries still need to work harder on many fronts es­pe­cially on en­hanc­ing peo­ple-to-peo­ple ex­changes. Com­pared with el­e­ments from Western, Ja­panese and Korean cul­ture, cul­tural el­e­ments from Rus­sia are rarely found in China. Young Chi­nese have lit­tle knowl­edge of what are con­sid­ered pop­u­lar among the Rus­sian youth and In­ter­net.

The sit­u­a­tion should change. The China-Rus­sia com­pre­hen­sive strate­gic part­ner­ship of co­or­di­na­tion needs to be sub­stan­ti­ated through en­hanced peo­ple-to-peo­ple ex­changes. Strate­gic co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the two coun­tries has far-reach­ing sig­nif­i­cance. Their com­pre­hen­sive strate­gic part­ner­ship has be­come a valu­able strate­gic as­set to both coun­tries.

Given that the West does not like to see closer ties be­tween China and Rus­sia, with many chan­nels for the West to ex­ert in­flu­ence on peo­ple in Chi­nese and Rus­sian so­ci­ety, it makes more sense for China and Rus­sia to con­sol­i­date their com­pre­hen­sive strate­gic part­ner­ship. The top lead­ers of the two na­tions have set an ex­am­ple in ad­vanc­ing co­op­er­a­tion be­tween their coun­tries, and key mem­bers of the two so­ci­eties should keep abreast with the times and live up to the ex­pec­ta­tions of the era.

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