Interview: China-Russia ties grow closer in 2017 -- Chinese ambassador to Russia

Source: Xinhua| 2017-12-30 13:19:59|Editor: Yang Yi
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MOSCOW, Dec. 30 (Xinhua) -- China and Russia have consolidated the foundation of their bilateral relations as their comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination continues to develop at a high level in 2017, Chinese Ambassador to Russia Li Hui has said.

"High-level communication between China and Russia has taken the lead in boosting the development of bilateral ties. In 2017, the Chinese and Russian heads of state maintained a high frequency of interaction and held five meetings," Li said.

At the same time, non-governmental exchanges have also laid a firm ground for the development of bilateral relations, the ambassador said.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the China-Russia Friendship Committee for Peace and Development (CRFCPD) and the 60th anniversary of the establishment of Russia-China Friendship Association (RCFA).

In this context, the two countries improved their bilateral exchange mechanism in various fields during the year, undertaking a series of activities which "further promoted mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples and consolidated the social and popular foundation for the development of China-Russia ties," Li said.

Fruitful results were also achieved in the pragmatic cooperation between the two countries, according to the ambassador.

In addition to the traditional energy and military fields, cooperation in the field of high-speed rail has become a new focus of attention, Li said.

The two countries signed a memorandum of understanding in 2014 and a letter of intent in 2016, both concerning high-speed rail cooperation, he said, adding that field investigation and the design of the Moscow-Kazan high-speed railway are being completed.

"This marked a profoundly significant step for China and Russia in pursuing the Belt and Road Initiative," Li said.

The ambassador also applauded the business prospects of Chinese enterprises in Russia's Far East region, to which China is the largest source of imports and a major source of foreign investment.

"China-Russia cooperation in the development of the Far East is thriving... More and more Chinese enterprises are starting their business in the leap-forward development zone and the free port in the Far East. China and Russia are good partners in developing the Far East, which has great potential for their future cooperation," Li said.

In particular, he underlined the importance of strengthening coordination of policies and regulations, improving the construction of cross-border infrastructure, boosting the enthusiasm of small- and medium-sized enterprises and facilitating close bilateral personnel exchanges.

Recalling the success of the 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) held in October, Li said that the congress charted the direction for deepening China-Russia relations.

"The comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination between China and Russia occupies a special position in the major-country diplomacy with Chinese characteristics and is an important manifestation of practicing Xi Jinping Thought on Socialism with Chinese Characteristics for a New Era," he said.

He said that China is ready to work with Russia to give full play to the advantages of both economies and further exploit the potential in bilateral cooperation, so as to gain more achievements from their comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination and benefit both countries and their peoples.

"I firmly believe that with joint efforts of both countries, China-Russia relations will certainly score more new achievements and new progress in 2018," Li said.