Chinese and Russian Officials Hold a Briefing for Chinese and Foreign Journalists on President Medvedev's Visit to China
On May 20, 2008, Assistant Foreign Minister Li Hui and Russian Ambassador to China Sergey Razov jointly held a briefing for Chinese and foreign journalists in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of China, introducing Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's upcoming state visit to China. Qin Gang, Deputy Director-General of the Information Department, hosted the briefing.
Liu Hui said: At the invitation of President Hu Jintao, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will pay a state visit to China from May 23 to 24. This is a significant event in the China-Russia relationship, to which both China and Russia attach great importance. Mr. Medvedev is an old friend of China. As the Chairman of the Russian Organizing Committee for the China-Russia "National Year" in China and Russia in 2006 and 2007, he made outstanding contributions to the successful holding of the China-Russia "National Year" events and to the promotion of China-Russia strategic partnership of coordination. President Medvedev's decision to make China his first foreign visit outside the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) only half a month after being sworn in as the President of Russia fully demonstrates the high degree of importance he and the Russian government place on the China-Russia relationship and the high level, uniqueness, strategic significance and firmness of China-Russia strategic partnership of coordination. China speaks highly of the fact.
Li said: Both countries have made earnest preparations and thoughtful arrangements for President Medvedev's visit. During his visit to China, President Hu Jintao will hold talks and meetings with President Medvedev and they will meet the journalists together. President Medvedev will also meet with State Councilor Wu Bangguo, Premier Wen Jiabao, and Chairman of CPPCC Jia Qinglin respectively. President Medvedev will address Peking University. The two countries hope to fulfill the following goals with President Medvedev's state visit to China.
I. To establish good working relationship and personal friendship between the new teams of leaders and ensure the development of China-Russia strategic partnership of coordination at high levels and along a stable, healthy and long-term track.
II. To comprehensively summarize the achievements and experiences made since the establishment of China-Russia strategic partnership of coordination 12 years ago and identify the goals and directions for the next-step development of China-Russia relationship.
III. To enhance mutual political trust and continue to render firm support to each other on major issues concerning national sovereignty, security, territorial integrity and development.
IV. To deepen pragmatic cooperation. The leaders of the two countries will exchange views on cooperation in such spheres as economy, trade, science, technology, energy, environmental protection, culture and education and have further discussions on optimizing trade structure and expanding mutual investment so as to push new breakthroughs for mutually beneficial cooperation. During President Medvedev's visit, the two countries will also sign a number of bilateral cooperation agreements.
Li emphasized: China and Russia are the largest neighbors of each other and strategic partners of coordination of each other. China and Russia are both the permanent members of the UN Security Council. Developing a long-term and stable neighborly relationship of friendship and developing mutually beneficial cooperation is of great significance to promoting the development and prosperity of China and Russia and maintaining peace and stability of the world. Since the establishment of strategic partnership of coordination 12 years ago, bilateral ties continue to move forward in a rapid, all-round, and healthy manner. The China-Russia "National Year" in China and Russia in 2006 and 2007, in particular, have greatly advanced the friendly exchanges in all fronts and at all levels. The strategic partnership of coordination also reached an unprecedented new high. Bilateral trade continues to rise, with trading volume increasing from US$8 billion in 2000 to US$48.1 billion in 2007. A number of large-scale cooperation projects were launched. The cooperation in such fields as energy, transport, education, culture, science and technology is productive. The two countries cooperated closely in multilateral organizations including the United Nations and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and communicated closely with each other on major regional and international issues, which contributed greatly to maintaining peace and stability of the world. China is willing to work together with the Russian side to increase mutual political trust, deepen pragmatic cooperation, strengthen strategic coordination and upgrade the strategic partnership of coordination between China and Russia to new levels.
Ambassador Sergey Razov first expressed his deep condolences and sorrows over the devastating earthquake in Sichuan. He said: Russia and China are friendly neighbors and strategic partners of coordination. The sorrows and disasters of the Chinese friends are the sorrows and disasters of the Russian people. Russia responded quickly after the earthquake took place. Russia has dispatched four cargo-transport planes carrying the humanitarian aid to China. Over 50 Russian rescue members participated in China's rescue operations in the disaster-hit areas and successfully rescued one survivor. Today, we have one more plane carrying disaster relief assistance and 40 medical experts arriving in Chengdu. They will build up a mobile hospital and provide medical aid to the injured.
On the topic of President Medvedev's visit to China, Razov said: President Medvedev's visit coincides with the fast the development of Russia-China relationship and is of special significance. This is his first foreign visit outside the CIS after he took office as the President of Russia. This is an embodiment of the smooth development of China-Russia strategic partnership of coordination. President Medvedev is an old friend of China. He is a very well known figure in China. He also knows China very well and has a lot of Chinese friends. He made great contributions to the development of Russia-China relationship while serving as the Chairman of the Russian Organizing Committee for the China-Russia "National Year" in China and Russia in 2006 and 2007. During his visit, Russia and China will sign a series of important documents, expounding the two countries' positions on bilateral matters and major regional and international issues. Moreover, the leaders will discuss a number of pragmatic issues during bilateral talks including cooperation in economy and trade. In recent years, bilateral trade has been growing rapidly. I believe that the goal of achieving US$60 billion in trading volume by 2010, which was identified by the leaders of the two countries, can be fulfilled as scheduled. There are still great potentials to be tapped for the cooperation in such areas as trade and investment. The quality of bilateral trade should be further improved. The products with high added value should be increased. We have a large business delegation accompanying President Medvedev's visit. There is no doubt that President Medvedev's visit will inject new vigor into our bilateral relationship and cooperation in all fronts.
Razov said: President Medvedev will also deliver a speech as Peking University and exchange views with the Chinese youth. It will be the first time for him to deliver speech to a foreign audience as the President of Russia. His address will be broadcast live by CCTV. The Chinese public may have a change to know his views on the prospects of Russia and external relations.
Razov said: The China-Russia strategic partnership of coordination is a type of relationship based upon friendship, equality, mutual benefits and win-win results rather than based upon ideologies. It sets up a good example of state-to-state relationship in the 21st century.
Li Hui and Sergey Razov also answered the questions of journalists concerning trade, energy cooperation, people-to-people exchange, China-Russia "National Year" and cooperation on major regional and international issues.