Also attending the meeting were Secretary of the Security Council Nikolai Patrushev on the Russian side, and Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to Russia Zhang Hanhui on the Chinese side.
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Beginning of the conversation with Member of the Political Bureau of the Communist Party of China Central Committee Wang Yi
President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Wang Yi, Your Excellency Ambassador.
We are very glad to see a high representative of the People’s Republic of China in Russia, this time in St Petersburg.
I do hope that you find time, even if just a few hours, to discover St Petersburg and explore its historical and architectural landmarks in all their beauty.
To begin this meeting, I would like to say right away that the last time we saw each other was, I think, in February 2023. You came to Russia to prepare the visit of President of China Xi Jinping, who is a very good, important and cherished friend of ours. Indeed, his visit was a great success. I would even say that it marked a major milestone, especially considering that it took place immediately after Comrade Xi Jinping’s election as President of the People’s Republic of China. This was an important sign of trust and an affirmation of the high level of relations between us, and we understand this very well.
I must say that the visit was a success, as demonstrated by the performance we have achieved in our relations. It served as a positive impetus for promoting our bilateral ties. This relates to international affairs where we our positions coincide regarding the emergence of a multipolar world instead of some kind of rules-based order. No one has seen these rules and they keep changing every day depending on momentary considerations and to benefit those who came up with this absurd formula. This is the first thing I wanted to say.
Second, this visit gave a positive impetus to the expansion of our trade, economic and humanitarian ties. Speaking of trade and economic ties, we recently took stock of these developments during the meeting with Vice Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China [Zhang Guoqing] on the sidelines of the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok. Our trade exceeded $120 billion in the first months of this year. We have every reason to believe that we will at least come close to $200 billion. As far as I know, according to Chinese statistics, trade even surpassed $120 billion in the first seven months.
The year of cooperation in physical fitness and sport was a great success. Next year will also be special in terms of our humanitarian cooperation.
Of course, I gladly accepted the invitation from the President of the People’s Republic of China to visit China this October as part of a major event to promote the Belt and Road Initiative – President Xi Jinping’s idea which has already become an international brand. This fully meets and coincides with our interests. In fact, we believe in merging our vision of creating a Greater Eurasian space with the idea of our Chinese friends as part of the Belt and Road Initiative, and we have been quite good at synchronising our efforts.
I am very glad to see you and strongly believe that we will have a very useful conversation to share information and exchange our views on the current situation.
Member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the People’s Republic of China, Director of the Office of the Foreign Affairs Commission of the CPC Central Committee, Foreign Minister of China Wang Yi (retranslated): Mr President,
thank you very much for finding the time to receive China’s Ambassador to Russia and myself. First of all, I would like to convey to you President Xi Jinping’s sincere greetings and best wishes.
As you have rightly said, President Xi Jinping’s historical visit to Russia took place in March 2023 at your invitation. Together, you have set new reference points for expanding the comprehensive strategic cooperation between China and Russia in a new era. You have also set clear targets and gave a powerful impetus to further promoting our relations. I fully share your assessment regarding the way China and Russia have been developing their relations.
Mr President, tectonic shifts are underway in today’s world with the emergence of a multipolar world gaining momentum in the face of the ever-changing international environment with its turbulence. Still, we are witnessing an anti-globalisation trend. As permanent members of the UN Security Council, China and Russia are committed to peace and development, and carry a huge burden on their shoulders.
Yesterday, Mr Patrushev [Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev] and I held a new round of China-Russia consultations on strategic security. Two days ago, I discussed our bilateral relations with Minister Lavrov [Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov]. We talked about ways to carry out the important agreements you reached with President Xi Jinping. We also explored ways of working together to counter anti-globalisation trends. Accordingly, we reached several important agreements. I believe Mr Patrushev has already reported to you on this topic.
I would like to point out that regardless of any changes in the international environment and momentary considerations, China stands ready to continue strengthening mutual trust in the spirit of your agreements with President Xi Jinping and uphold our unwavering commitment to expanding our business cooperation, as well as to promote people-to-people ties and better coordinate our international efforts while working together to defend our shared interests, advocating international justice as a way to contribute to effective global governance so it can take a rational development path.
I will be happy to use this opportunity to hear your proposals and reflections regarding China-Russia relations, especially on your participation in the 3rd Belt and Road Forum which is scheduled to take place the next month.
Vladimir Putin: For my part, I will inform you about the situation with Ukraine, and the developments related to the Azerbaijan-Karabakh and Armenia-Azerbaijan settlements. Our peacekeepers have been working proactively with all parties to the conflict and doing everything they can to defend civilians. There are already over 2,000 civilians at their main base, including over 1,000 children.
Let me reiterate that we maintain close contacts will all parties to the conflict, including the authorities in Yerevan, Stepanakert, and Baku. I hope that we will be able to de-escalate the situation and make sure that we put efforts to achieve a peaceful resolution back on track.