Beginning of Russia-China talks
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: President Xi, my dear friend,
I am delighted to see you. Greetings.
I am happy to have this opportunity to see you via videoconference. This allows us to hold in-depth discussions on the development of Russian-Chinese relations of comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction. I regard these relations as a shining example of interstate cooperation in the 21st century.
We have maintained contact despite the sanitary and epidemiological restrictions, and in May  we launched, via videoconference, the joint construction of four new power units for a nuclear power plant in China. In June, we held a videoconference on the 20th anniversary of the major Russia-China Treaty [on Good-Neighbourliness and Friendly Cooperation]. We also had telephone conversations about urgent international issues, in particular, the Afghan problem.
This year Russia-China relations have been dominated by the 20th anniversary of the Treaty on Good-Neighbourliness and Friendly Cooperation. It has been extended for another five years. The consistent implementation of this fundamental document, which comprehensively reflects the deep historical traditions of friendship and mutual understanding between the Russian and Chinese people, has helped us to take our relations to an unprecedentedly high level.
A new model of cooperation has developed between our countries, a model based, in part, on the principles of non-interference in each other’s affairs and mutual resolve to turn our common border into a belt of eternal peace and good-neighbourliness.
We are strengthening our trade and economic ties: from January to November this year, our mutual trade has increased by 31 percent to US$123 billion. We have beaten the record of the pre-pandemic year, 2019. In the near term, as agreed, we will pass the US$200 billion mark. We are implementing a number of large-scale joint projects in energy, including nuclear generation, industry and high technology.
From the very beginning of the pandemic, we have firmly joined forces in responding to the coronavirus infection. China has become an international centre for the production of the Russian vaccines Sputnik V and Sputnik Light. Contracts for more than 150 million doses have been signed with six Chinese manufacturers.
The multifaceted dialogue mechanism between the two countries’ governments and relevant agencies is working smoothly, and parliamentary cooperation is strengthening. The foreign policy and defence departments maintain ongoing contact.
Russia and China’s close coordination in the world arena, and their responsible joint approach to current global problems have become a significant factor of stability in international relations. We are active on platforms such as the UN Security Council, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, and the BRICS. We are both contributing to the formation of a just world order based on international law.
President Xi Jinping, my friend,
I do hope that next February, we will finally be able to meet in person in Beijing. As we agreed, you and I will talk, and then we will participate in the Winter Olympics opening ceremony. Thank you for the invitation to attend this important event.
I would like to note that we invariably support each other in every aspect of international sports cooperation, including in condemning any attempts to politicise sports and the Olympic movement. I have no doubt that the upcoming Winter Games will be held at the highest level. They know how to do things in China.
By the way, to follow up on this high-profile sporting event, we plan to announce that 2022 and 2023 will be the Russian and Chinese years of cooperation in physical education and sports.
In a word, given the grand scale of interaction between our countries, we have a wide range of important matters to discuss today.
And of course, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and all our Chinese friends a Happy New Year, wish you happiness, good health and all the very best.
President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping (retranslated): President Putin, my old friend,
I am very happy that this is our second videoconference with you this year and our 37th meeting since 2013.
At various recent events, you have always expressed a high opinion of China-Russia relations, describing them as an example of interstate ties in the 21st century, firmly supporting China’s actions to protect its key national interests and resolutely opposing the attempts to drive a wedge between our countries. I appreciate this very much.
I am ready to review with you the results of our relations this year and to map out plans for strengthening our cooperation in various spheres in the interests of the sustainable and high-quality development of our bilateral relations.
The ongoing deep changes in international relations are closely interconnected with the spreading pandemic. The world has entered a period of turbulence and big changes. China-Russia relations have weathered many different trials, proved their viability and found a new lease of life. Standing at the helm of China-Russia relations, you and I have maintained close contacts on the main current issues.
Our countries have officially announced the extension of the Treaty on Good-Neighbourliness and Friendly Cooperation, adding new substance to it, in keeping with the spirit of the times. China and Russia are firmly supporting each other on matters concerning the other side’s vital interests and are protecting their national dignity and common interests.
Our bilateral cooperation has shown that it has major political advantages and possibilities. For the first time ever, our trade in the first nine months of the year exceeded US$100 billion. As you have pointed out, it reached US$123 billion in November.
The Year of Scientific and Technological Innovation was a success. We are implementing several large strategic projects. We are promoting the use of national currencies in mutual settlements, streamlining the structure of our investment cooperation, and boosting the aligned development [of the Silk Road Economic Belt] and the EAEU.
Our countries are acting as responsible powers should. They are advocating a unifying international agenda against the pandemic and upholding the true essence of democracy and human rights, which makes them a real stronghold of multilateralism and a defender of international justice and equality.
Next year we will hold the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of China, which is a big event for our country. And Russia will enter the main phase of its development programme through to 2030. Our countries should exchange and share the opportunity to openly promote the implementation of the global development agenda, thereby setting an example of a new type of international relations and the community, of a common destiny for humanity.
I hope that you will visit China and will also attend the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics. I look forward to our “Olympic” meeting.
I am ready to move forward together with you and to jointly open a new page in China-Russia relations in the post-pandemic period.