President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Comrade Minister, I am delighted to see you.
You have arrived in Russia following the visit to our country by our great friend, my friend President of the People’s Republic of China, Comrade Xi Jinping. I would like to emphasise once again that this was a very productive visit. Of course, we discussed military-to-military cooperation, among other topics.
Our two countries have maintained positive momentum in expanding our economic, social, cultural and educational ties. We have also been proactive in our military-to-military relations by regularly sharing actionable insights and cooperating on defence matters. We also hold joint military exercises in various theatres of operation, including in the Far East, Europe, at sea, on land, as well as in the air. I do believe that this constitutes a major track for strengthening the trust-based strategic relationship between the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China.
We are glad to see you. I know that you have a packed and quite extensive programme for your visit. I am certain that your visit will be very effective.
Welcome to Russia.
Minister of National Defence of the People’s Republic of China Li Shangfu (retranslated): Mr President,
Thank you so much for finding the time to have this meeting with me. I know that today is a holiday, but still you have found the time to receive me. This is a great honour for me.
First of all, allow me to convey to you the warmest greetings and the best wishes on behalf of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
In 2017, a military delegation visited Russia to take part in the meeting of the Commission for Military-Technical Cooperation, and I was a member of this body at the time. Today, I am back in Russia, which gives me great joy.
As of late, military and military-technical cooperation between Russia and China is developing very well. This is making a major contribution to maintaining global and regional security.
I have arrived in Russia today. There are plans to implement your agreements with President of China Xi Jinping, reached during his March visit to Moscow. This is my first foreign visit after I became Defence Minister of China. I specially chose Russia, so as to emphasise the special nature and strategic significance of our bilateral relations.
Our countries established bilateral relations over 70 years ago. Relations between our armed forces are growing stronger with every passing day. Naturally, the diplomacy of leaders plays a key role here. You set strategic goals for our development. In addition, your personal friendship with the President of China plays a major role in this process, and everyone in China knows this.
According to our estimates, you have held 40 meetings with the President of China. In 2013, he visited Russia for the first time after becoming President of China. Ten years on, he arrived in Russia again on his first foreign visit after being re-elected head of the Chinese state. The talks you held had a very packed agenda and charted the main areas of our future cooperation.
We have a very strong relationship that goes beyond the Cold War-era military and political alliances. This relationship hinges on the principles of non-alignment and non-confrontation with third parties, and these principles are very stable. Under your strategic leadership and that of the President of China, we are actively developing cooperation in practical spheres. Our relations have already entered a new era.
For 13 years, China has been Russia’s main trade partner. While developing our relations, we realise the tremendous responsibility assumed by our states, especially in light of the fact that we are now seeing the most profound changes of the past 100 years. We are standing shoulder to shoulder and working to improve the wellbeing of our peoples. We are also mindful of the fact that the global economy is recovering very slowly, and that there is great demand for peace and peaceful relations between countries.
Mr Xi Jinping has advanced several major initiatives, including a civilisational initiative that has to do with global development. To the best of our knowledge, the Russian side has a positive opinion of these initiatives. Cooperation continues to develop at all levels, and we will continue this cooperation in the interests of the entire world’s development and prosperity.
Vladimir Putin: Thank you very much, and please convey my best wishes to President Xi Jinping.