President of Russia Dmitry Medvedev: President Hu Jintao, ladies and gentlemen, friends,
Today, we are celebrating the anniversary of an event having enormous significance for our cooperation in the 21st century.
Ten years ago, the Treaty of Good-Neighbourliness, Friendship and Cooperation was signed at the Kremlin. It was based on the best traditions of centuries-long contacts between our nations, as well as our modern, positive cooperation experience. Legally speaking, it established a new quality of bilateral relations, and most importantly, defined the benchmarks for long-term development.
The principles laid down in this Treaty proved their value; that is already clear today. And most crucially, they have opened up broad opportunities for developing cooperation – sometimes, as a result of settling the most difficult of issues. In certain instances, the provisions of the Agreement served as the legal basis for settling border issues. Currently, there are no longer any unresolved political problems between our nations; our bilateral relations are stable and, of course, mutually beneficial. They take into account our respective interests and are constantly filled with new ideas. Our top-level dialogue also contributes to this. Last year, President Hu Jintao and I met six times, and each of these meetings was very useful, trust-based, and partnership-oriented.
”Relations between Russia and China are an example of international cooperation. These relations are based on mutual respect, sincere mutual understanding.“
This Treaty has also created the most favourable conditions for building our economic interactions. Our economic cooperation has withstood the test of time. In essence, we were able to overcome the crisis quite quickly, and by 2010, we had once again achieved a record turnover level in the region, around $60 billion. I have no doubts that the goal Mr President and I discussed today – a trade turnover of $200 billion by 2020 – will be reached, because we have large-scale projects and cooperate in a wide variety of areas, and our nations have many opportunities. I therefore feel that the outlook for our economic relations is quite good.
The Treaty was also useful during recent years in developing humanitarian cooperation. Important agreements on the study of Russian language in China and Chinese language in Russia were made on its basis; we subsequently signed a document on establishing cultural centres. And all of this has helped us in holding wonderful yearlong events during the Year of Russia in China and the Year of China in Russia, as well as reciprocal national language years held just recently. I feel that this, too, is a very important proof of the Treaty’s efficacy. Naturally, the Treaty has also helped youth exchanges, which are particularly valuable.
Friends, I have already stressed that today’s relations between Russia and China are an example of international cooperation. These relations are based on mutual respect, sincere mutual understanding and, as it says right in the Treaty, out nations stand for strict adherence to the norms of international law, not accepting interference into anybody else’s affairs or military pressure on a state. We are making a significant input into strengthening global stability and creating a multipolar world.
In conclusion, I would like to emphasise something that I feel is quite evident. This Treaty is not just some sort of legal framework, used as a basis for our work, although this, too, is certainly important. But what is most crucial is that the Treaty is oriented toward the future: it is oriented toward the generations of Russian and Chinese youth who are obligated to value friendship, treasure our accomplishments and do everything possible so that the unique relations existing between our nations remain that way forever. That is precisely what our peoples need.