Chinese President Xi Jinping will pay a state visit to Russia from March 20 to 22 at the invitation of his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin.
Over the years, the sustained, sound and steady development of China-Russia relations have brought benefits to both sides and injected stability into a turbulent world. And their comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era is mature, resilient and rock-solid.
Such a mature and tenacious relationship cannot do without top-level design or strategic guidance. Exchanges between the two heads of state are the compass and anchor of China-Russia relations.
Guided by the two leaders, China and Russia have blazed a path of major-country relations featuring strategic trust and good neighborliness, setting a new paradigm for international relations.
Through mutual visits, bilateral meetings on important multilateral occasions, video conferences, phone talks and exchange of messages, the two heads of state have over the past years conducted frequent interactions and exchanged governance experience in an in-depth and candid manner. They have also made plans to advance bilateral relations and practical cooperation in various fields, such as economy, trade, investment, energy, science and technology, people-to-people and cultural exchanges as well as local-level interactions.
Amity between the people holds the key to good relations between states. Since the two sides established diplomatic ties 74 years ago, their people have worked together to create a better future and share the dividends of development. A synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and the Eurasian Economic Union is a good case in point.
The Heihe-Blagoveshchensk cross-border highway bridge, the Tongjiang-Nizhneleninskoye cross-border railway bridge and other boundary river bridges have been opened to traffic one after another, and cross-border logistics and transport channels have been further expanded.
In 2022, bilateral trade reached a record high. China has remained Russia's largest trading partner for 13 years in a row. And in the first two months of this year, bilateral trade sustained strong growth momentum, reaching 33.69 billion dollars, up 25.9 percent year on year.
Meanwhile, the two countries have witnessed deepening people-to-people exchanges and amity, with increasingly solid public support. Events such as the year of tourism, the year of the media exchange, and the year of sports exchange, have brought the people of the two countries even closer.
In the face of rapid changes rarely seen in a century, major countries are trying to figure out what they want with each other -- to build exclusive blocs, or to foster a friendship that is open and sincere.
China and Russia have provided their answer. Their relationship is built on the basis of non-alliance, non-confrontation and non-targeting of third countries. It tolerates no third party interference or coercion.
Such a choice serves the respective and common interests of the two countries and answers the common call for peace and development of our times.
In an interview with Chinese media in February, Russian Ambassador to China Igor Morgulov said, "I believe that anyone who has bad intentions and may try to break our friendship will not succeed."
This resilient relationship has brought more stability, certainty and positive energy to a world undergoing transformations amid chaos and disorder.
As some countries are trying to rekindle the Cold War mentality and create the pseudo-proposition of "democracy vs autocracy," China and Russia, together with other countries, staunchly oppose hegemony and a new Cold War, and are firmly committed to promoting a multi-polar world and more democratic international relations.
China and Russia, as permanent members of the UN Security Council, have maintained close coordination and cooperation on international affairs, firmly safeguard the UN-centered international system and the international order underpinned by international law, and upheld true multilateralism.
The two countries have increased mutual support on issues concerning each other's core interests. They have carried out coordination and cooperation within multilateral frameworks including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia and the BRICS, and safeguarded regional security interests as well as the common interests of developing countries and emerging markets.
Under the strategic guidance of the two heads of state, the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era will surely advance at a higher level.
A mature and resilient China-Russia relationship will promote the solidarity, development and prosperity of the Eurasian continent, pool forces to uphold the norms governing international relations, strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation, and steer the world in the right direction.