Beginning of Russia-China talks
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Good afternoon, President Xi Jinping, my dear friend. I am delighted to see and greet you.
We are creating a very good tradition – to hold a videoconference at the end of the year to review our work and map out plans to build up Russia-China relations and strategic partnership and to exchange views on the most topical international issues.
But first of all, I would like to congratulate you and all our Chinese friends on the successful completion of the 20th National Congress of the Communist Party of China and you personally on being re-elected as General Secretary of the of CPC Central Committee. Your guiding role and the CPC’s leadership are essential for the sustainable socioeconomic development of the country and the strengthening of its positions on the global stage. I wholeheartedly wish every success to you and the friendly people of China.
In the context of growing geopolitical tensions, the importance of the Russian-Chinese strategic partnership as a stability factor is growing. Our relations have passed all the tests, demonstrating their maturity and stability, and they continue to grow dynamically. As both of us pointed out, our current relations are enjoying the best period in their history and can be regarded as a model of cooperation between major powers in the 21st century.
We maintained regular dialogue throughout the year. We held substantial discussions during the Olympic Games in Beijing and on the sidelines of the SCO summit in Samarkand, and we also had many telephone conversations.
Active contacts are also maintained at other levels. Two major events were held during the past month alone: the 27th regular meeting of our heads of government and Chair of the United Russia party Dmitry Medvedev’s visit to Beijing. It was the first meeting of the leaders of our counties’ ruling parties after the CPC congress. Mr Medvedev told me about the warm welcome he received and the meaningful conversation he had with you.
Intensive bilateral exchanges will continue in the coming year. I have no doubt that we will find an opportunity to meet in person. Mr President, my friend, we are expecting you next spring with a state visit to Moscow. This will demonstrate to the whole world how strong the Russian-Chinese friendship is, our agreement on key issues. Your visit will become the main political event of the year in bilateral relations.
Despite the unfavourable external situation, the illegitimate restrictions and patent blackmail on the part of certain Western countries, Russia and China have achieved record high growth rates in mutual trade. In 2022, it increased by about 25 percent. If this trend continues, we will be able to achieve the target of $200 billion set by 2024 ahead of schedule.
Energy supplies have reached unprecedented levels, and joint projects are underway to add capacity in hydrocarbons production and refining. In 2022, Russia became one of the leaders in oil exports to China.
Also, Russia holds second place in terms of pipeline gas supplies to China, and fourth in terms of LNG exports. By December 1, Russia supplied to China 13.8 billion cubic metres of gas along the eastern route, and in December, supplies exceeded daily contractual targets by 18 percent. Next year, we will increase supplies even more.
We note a significant increase in trade in agricultural produce. In January-November, we recorded a 36 percent increase, to $6 billion.
We have implemented landmark projects involving transport infrastructure. For the first time in the history of our relations, permanent bridges have been built across the Amur River: the Blagoveshchensk-Heihe automobile bridge was opened on June 10, and the Nizhneleninskoye-Tongjiang railway bridge on November 16.
Humanitarian exchanges are being restored. The third Russian-Chinese Winter Youth Games ended in Changchun a few days ago. This is a central event of the ongoing thematic Years of Cooperation in Fitness and Sports between Russia and China. The Games were organised at the highest level, once again reaffirming that sport is a shared property, and international competitions should bring people together, give them joy and a sense of unity, and not be used for momentary political purposes.
Of course, defence and military technology cooperation, which contributes to ensuring the security of our countries and maintaining stability in key regions, has a special place in the entire range of Russian-Chinese cooperation and our relations. We aim to strengthen cooperation between the armed forces of Russia and China.
Moscow and Beijing’s coordination on the international arena, including at the UN Security Council, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, BRICS, and the G20, serves to create a fair world order based on international law. We share the same views on the causes, course and logic of the ongoing transformation of the global geopolitical landscape. In the face of unprecedented pressure and provocations from the West, we defend our principled positions and protect not only our own interests, but also the interests of all those who stand for a truly democratic world order and the right of countries to freely determine their destiny.
I would like to wish you and all our Chinese friends a Happy New Year 2023 and the Chinese New Year, or the Spring Festival. I want to wish you happiness and health, and peace and prosperity to the friendly Chinese nation.
President of China Xi Jinping (retranslated): President Putin, my dear friend.
I am delighted to see you again.
A videoconference with you ahead of New Year’s Eve has become our good tradition. This year, we had two in-person meetings and spoke over the phone multiple times. We maintain close strategic contacts.
After the success of the 20th National Congress of the Chinese Communist Party, you immediately sent me warm greetings. It was greatly appreciated.
Under our joint leadership, the overarching Russia-China partnership and strategic cooperation demonstrates maturity and ability to withstand challenges in this new age.
The inner potential and special values of this bilateral cooperation are becoming more apparent. Between January and November 2022, Russian-Chinese trade exceeded $170 billion, which is more than the annual turnover in 2021.
We are optimising and integrating our investment cooperation. Energy cooperation is the cornerstone of our relations. We consistently make progress in a number of joint projects that concern priority areas, boosting region-to-region cooperation. We are deepening cultural and humanitarian exchanges, promoting the events that are part of the programme of the Russian-Chinese years of physical fitness and sports. We are strengthening the public foundations of our friendship. I am satisfied with these results.
In the face of the challenging and largely ambivalent international situation, we are ready to build up strategic cooperation with Russia, providing each other with development opportunities and remaining global partners for the benefit of our countries and in the interests of stability in the entire world.
Now I want to move to discussing our bilateral relations and the topical issues we address on a regular basis.