This undated file photo shows the national flags of China and Russia on Red Square, Moscow. (PHOTO / XINHUA)
Relations between Russia and China have reached their highest level in history, and the two countries will step up cooperation further, Russian President Vladimir Putin said on Thursday.
Putin said at an expanded meeting of the Russian Foreign Ministry Board that the country will continue to strengthen its ties with China.
The bilateral relations have served as a model for effective interstate cooperation in the 21st century, he stressed.
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Putin further noted that some Western countries, however, are “openly trying to drive a wedge between Moscow and Beijing”.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the positive statement by President Putin showed Russia pays high attention to developing relations with China, and demonstrated that both countries see each other as its diplomatic priority
The Russian president stressed that the bilateral relations are at their historical height and characterized by an all-embracing strategic partnership.
“Together with our Chinese friends, we will continue to respond to such attempts by expanding our political, economic and other cooperation, and coordinating steps in the international arena,” he said.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian said the positive statement by President Putin showed Russia pays high attention to developing relations with China, and demonstrated that both countries see each other as its diplomatic priority.
China and Russia are unmovable good neighbors and unbreakable real partners, and the development of the high-level strategic partnership of coordination is a long-term strategic choice based on their own national conditions, Zhao said.
It is not the first time for the Russian leader to make such remarks. During a video conference with President Xi Jinping in June, Putin hailed the close coordination and said that bilateral relations “have reached their highest level in history”.
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He said that the two countries have reached an unprecedentedly high level and the two sides have extensive shared interests.
In October, Putin said China is a “highly reliable partner for us” during the Russian Energy Week Forum in Moscow.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov echoed Putin in July, saying that Sino-Russian relations “have reached unprecedented heights, becoming a perfect example of cooperation between countries in the 21st century”.
China and Russia have maintained close military cooperation, and the two have strategic cooperation in the energy sector.
In the field of the economy, the total bilateral trade volume reached $107.7 billion in 2020. Putin said he confidently predicted the figure will surpass $200 billion in 2024.
In the meantime, Russia has been working closely with China in multilateral organizations, such as the United Nations, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and BRICS, the global role of which should be more substantial, Putin said.