The Guard of Honor of the Chinese People's Liberation Army (PLA) take part in the military parade marking the 75th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War on Red Square in Moscow, Russia, June 24, 2020 (XINHUA)
On May 9, 2015, Chinese President Xi Jinping attended a grand military parade held in Moscow's Red Square to mark the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Great Patriotic War, Russia's term for WWII, during which Chinese and Russian soldiers have fought on the same side. Russian President Vladimir Putin hosted Xi and let him take up the most distinguished position on the right hand side.
The world has entered a period full of turbulent changes since six years ago, while China-Russia relations have become even more mature, stable and resilient under the joint guidance of the two heads of state.
The first China-Europe freight train from Chengdu to St. Petersburg arrives at Shushary railway station in St. Petersburg, Russia, March 15, 2021 (XINHUA)
Model for harmonious coexistence between major countries
In June 2019, China and Russia agreed to upgrade their relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era, reaching a milestone for the development of bilateral ties.
Russia was the destination of Xi's first foreign trip after he took office as China's president in March 2013. It was during the visit, Xi put forward a major global concept in his speech at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, calling for joint efforts to build a community with a shared future for mankind.
Over the past eight years, the two heads of state have maintained frequent exchanges of visits and have met on various international and multilateral occasions. All those interactions have built up confidence and momentum for the two countries to cope with the changes rarely seen in a century, setting a global model for harmonious coexistence between major countries.
Together the two presidents rode China's high-speed train and cruised on Russia's Neva River. They have, side by side, watched an ice hockey race between Chinese and Russian kids, and cooked traditional Chinese and Russian pancakes. Those pictures have brought back great memories to both Chinese and Russian people.
Under their guidance, China-Russia practical cooperation in various fields has yielded fruitful results, cultural and people-to-people exchanges have been rich and colorful, and public support for their friendship has been increasingly solid.
China has been Russia's largest trading partner for 11 consecutive years, while Russia is China's 10th largest trading partner. Major programs, including a second line for the China-Russia oil pipeline and the China-Russia east-route natural gas pipeline, were successfully put into production. The two countries have also signed a memorandum of understanding on jointly building an international scientific research station on the moon.
On Feb. 9, 2020, a huge IL-76 transport plane carrying 23 tons of urgently-needed medical aid arrived in the Chinese city of Wuhan from Moscow.
In the face of the once-in-a-century pandemic, China and Russia have united as one and worked together closely. Russia was the first country to send a delegation of anti-epidemic experts to China, and China has continued to provide Russia with anti-epidemic materials.
Even at the height of the epidemic, air routes between the two countries were unimpeded and cross-border freight transport was never interrupted. Moreover, governments, medical institutions, research institutes and businesses of the two countries have been regularly exchanging and sharing experience in fighting the virus.
"Today, as we did in World War II, China and Russia are fighting a common enemy hand-in-hand," Russian Ambassador to China Andrey Denisov said in April last year.
As Zhong Nanshan, a leading Chinese respiratory disease expert, has pointed out, by upholding the concept of a community with a shared future for mankind, China and Russia have cooperated in fields including epidemic prevention and control, patient treatment and drug research and development, which has become a model of global anti-epidemic cooperation.
In the face of the surging "political virus" amid the ravaging pandemic, China and Russia are firmly on the right side of history against the practices of politicizing and stigmatizing the epidemic.
Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the two heads of state have maintained close communication. In 2020, the two heads of state held five phone calls and maintained communication and coordination on bilateral and international issues. They also jointly attended almost all important multilateral meetings, and put forward a China-Russia plan to jointly fight the epidemic and revitalize the global economy.
In order to win the global fight against the epidemic at an early date, China and Russia have also taken active steps to eliminate the "vaccine divide," which have demonstrated their responsibility as major countries.
Guardians of int'l equity and justice
"Guilin's scenery is peerless in the world, and the high level of China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era is also the best in the world," commented Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on China-Russia relations after he met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov in China's southern city of Guilin on March 23.
After the talks in Guilin, the two sides issued a joint statement on several issues concerning current global governance, expounding the essence of major concepts such as human rights, democracy, international order, and multilateralism, which reflected the collective demands of the international community, especially those of developing countries.
As permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, both China and Russia have contributed their wisdom to pushing for political solutions to global and regional hot-spot issues, such as the nuclear issues related to the Korean Peninsula and Iran.
This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the signing of the China-Russia Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation. The concept of friendship from generation to generation and the principle of a new type of international relations established by the treaty are great innovations in the history of international relations, and their strong vitality will persist.