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Joint flag-bearers for peace and development


China and Russia are working together to take bilateral relations to the next level in the new era

Editor's Note: This year marks the 20th anniversary of the signing of the China-Russia Treaty of Good Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation. We are publishing three commentaries by senior diplomats and renowned scholars to elaborate on the treaty's profound implications for Sino-Russian relations and the world at large.

When defining the future of China-Russia relations, President Xi Jinping underlined the importance of building a strong strategic foundation for mutual trust, deepening shared interests to achieve revitalization side by side, promoting people-to-people exchanges and strengthening the foundation of friendship for generations to come, and taking a more active role in safeguarding world peace and security.

President Vladimir Putin has fully echoed these important advocacies. The new era of China-Russia comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership will thus usher in new and greater development opportunities.

At present, both Russia and China are at a critical stage of national rejuvenation, and both countries are committed to the implementation of new national development strategies.

In October 2020, the Fifth Plenary Session of the 19th Communist Party of China Central Committee adopted the proposals for the 14th Five-Year Plan for National Economic and Social Development (2021-25) and the long-range objectives through the year 2035, which indicate that China will adhere to a "dual circulation" development paradigm in which the domestic economic cycle plays a leading role while international economic cycle remains its extension and supplement, promote high-quality growth and advance reform and openingup from a new starting point.

In February 2019, Russia also announced the main tasks and basic goals for the country's economic development in the coming years.

However, the external environment facing the two countries has changed profoundly.

First, China and Russia need to enhance political trust and strengthen their strategic cooperation more than ever before. To deepen mutual political trust will expand the convergence of interests and therefore promote high-quality development of both countries.

Second, China and Russia should deepen practical cooperation and strategic engagement.

China and Russia have their own advantages and characteristics in terms of resource endowments, level of industrialization and economic systems. The two economies enjoy strong complementarities and shared interests, which present great prospects for practical cooperation in various fields. Therefore, China and Russia should seize the historic opportunities brought by the new round of technological revolution to strengthen the complementarity of the Belt and Road Initiative and the Eurasian Economic Union, and create opportunities for cooperation in both traditional and new areas.

At present, the Belt and Road Initiative has entered a new stage as part of high-quality development. Despite disruptions caused by the novel coronavirus outbreak, international cooperation on the Belt and Road Initiative has shown great resilience and dynamics. Exchanges and engagement in terms of development strategies between China and Russia have started to chart new courses. Under the framework of China-Russia strategic engagement and cooperation, both sides will transform their thinking and innovate models to deepen their practical cooperation in trade, energy, finance, science and technology, aerospace, the digital economy, agriculture and transportation.

Third, China and Russia should actively participate in global governance and achieve stronger strategic cooperation.

The world is facing a major changes unseen in a century, and the pandemic has accelerated the process of such transformation. Peace and development remain the theme of the times. The geopolitical landscape is undergoing profound adjustments, with intensified strategic competition among major powers and increasing instability, competition, and confrontation.

Meanwhile, global economic growth is clearly losing steam, with the negative effects of economic globalization becoming increasingly prominent. All these challenges require a better global governance system. Moreover, a new round of technological revolution and industrial transformation is progressing in leaps and bounds. Economic globalization, digitization and cultural diversification are steering a multipolar world toward a new direction. Nations are closely connected, and their national interests are intertwined. Never has mankind shared such a shared future. Against this backdrop, the idea of a community with a shared future for mankind is becoming widely accepted as the international community calls for strengthened international cooperation and improved global governance. As major powers in the world, China and Russia have a shared responsibility to maintain world peace and development. China and Russia should uphold the flag of peace and development, cooperation and win-win results, and adhere to the principles of multilateralism, extensive consultation, joint contribution and shared benefits. They should play an active role in the reform and restructuring of the global governance system, and work together to bring the international political and economic order on a just and reasonable track.

The author is president of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences. 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.