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Significant partnership renewal


China, Russia eye new era for their good-neighborliness and friendly cooperation

During the COVID-19 pandemic, China and Russia have stood side by side and worked closely together to fight against the deadly disease and the politicization of the pandemic.

Russia was the first country to send medical experts to China, and China has provided Russia with much-needed anti-pandemic materials. The solidarity demonstrated in their joint battle against the novel coronavirus has not only added to the traditional friendship between the two peoples, but also been a ray of light in the global fight against the virus.

When the situation was at its grimmest in both countries, they offered each other assistance. When the United States began its smear campaign against China, the two countries staunchly upheld the truth.

Russia took the lead in registering its domestically developed Sputnik V vaccine, which has been used in more than 50 countries.

China is also one of the leading countries in COVID-19 vaccine research and development and has provided vaccine assistance to 80 countries.

Chinese biopharmaceutical company CanSino Biologics worked with Russian pharmaceutical company Petrovax to conduct Phase 3 trials of the Chinese company's COVID-19 vaccine in Russia, which has shown good results. They have now applied to the Russian health authority for registration of the vaccine.

China and Russia are both responsible powers, and they have not only protected their own people but also cared about and helped people around the world. The two countries have joined hands to resist various forms of "vaccine nationalism", and worked together to fill the "immunization gap", which should not have occurred, so that vaccines can truly become public goods with universal access, and they are playing bigger roles in curbing the cross-border spread of the virus and protecting the life and health of all.

The more the world changes, the more chaotic it is and the more significant the great friendship between China and Russia is, the more we cherish the new type of national relations established by both sides.

The two countries offer strategic support and development opportunities to each other and are global partners of each other.

Since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin have had five telephone conversations to further develop the two countries' comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership in a new era.

Despite the raging pandemic last year, the two countries expanded the results of pragmatic cooperation and the bilateral trade volume has exceeded $100 billion for three consecutive years; new achievements have been made in major strategic fields such as oil and gas, nuclear energy and more; and the development of the Belt and Road Initiative and the Eurasian Economic Union have continued to advance.

The 2020-21 China-Russia Year of Scientific and Technological Innovation has been progressing well. The cooperation is ascendant in fields such as the digital sector, green economy, artificial intelligence, 5G and big data. The two sides also signed a memorandum of understanding to build an international lunar scientific research station.

All these show that the practical cooperation between China and Russia, which has withstood the test of the pandemic, has become more resilient and is gaining more stamina.

This year is no ordinary year. It marks the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Communist Party of China and the two countries will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the signing of the China-Russia Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation.

Over the past 20 years, this treaty has laid a solid legal foundation for the long-term and healthy development of China-Russia relations.

China and Russia have agreed to renew the treaty and are taking the celebrations for the 20th anniversary of the signing of the treaty as a common thread in further deepening the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination in a new era. This is both a milestone and a fresh start for China-Russia ties.

The two sides will carry forward the spirit of the treaty by promoting friendship from generation to generation and a win-win partnership, pushing forward bilateral cooperation on a broader scale and at a deeper level.

They will continue to set an example for the good neighborly friendship of major countries and inject impetus into the recovery of the world economy.

During Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov's visit to China last month, the two sides issued a joint statement on several issues requiring global governance, which once again demonstrated their solidarity and showed that the China-Russia strategic partnership remains a mainstay of world peace and stability.

In the context of major changes unseen in a century, coupled with a once-in-a-century pandemic, China and Russia are aware of their historical responsibilities, and will continue to work together to build a model of harmonious coexistence and new international relations among major countries.

They will also continue to support each other on core interests, accelerate the resumption of economic activities, serve as important partners for each other's development and revitalization, and be staunch upholders of fairness and justice in international affairs.

The Chinese side is ready to work with Russia to firmly safeguard the international system with the United Nations as its core, uphold the international order based on international law, support multilateralism, oppose unilateral bullying and interference in the internal affairs of other countries, as well as double standard on human rights and democracy adopted by some Western countries, and adhere to humanity's common values of peace, development, fairness, justice, democracy and freedom.

Together, China and Russia can promote the building of a community with a shared future for mankind and make greater contributions to world peace and development.

The author is the Chinese ambassador to Russia. The author contributed this article to China Watch, a think tank powered by China Daily.

The views do not necessarily reflect those of China Daily.