xi's moments
Home | China-Europe

Putin's visit to bolster momentum of relations

By REN QI in Moscow | China Daily | Updated: 2024-05-17 07:17

Russian President Vladimir Putin's decision to choose China as the destination of his first overseas visit after beginning his new term of office 10 days ago shows the strength of Sino-Russian ties as well as his close personal relations with the Chinese leadership, Russian experts have said.

Upon the Kremlin's declaration of Putin's state visit to China, a diverse array of reasons were cited by Russian observers.

China is Russia's most important strategic partner, and their relations are evolving dynamically and across multiple layers encompassing the political, economic and cultural domains, said Sergey Suverov, an associate professor at the Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation.

In 2023, trade between the two neighboring countries surged 26.3 percent, hitting a record high of $240.1 billion, Suverov said, adding that energy ties between the two nations are rapidly advancing, with Russia serving as a key provider of energy resources to China, alongside a reciprocal exchange of technology between the two sides.

"Putin's visit will give further impetus to relations, particularly in energy and finance, resolve cooperation issues and establish new cooperation frameworks," Suverov said.

Alexander Gabuev, director of the Carnegie Russia Eurasia Center, said that Putin's visit to China was a clear and logical decision, because China has emerged as Russia's paramount partner.

Gabuev said that the Chinese yuan has surpassed the US dollar and the euro as the primary currency for trade between the two neighbors, solidifying its position as the most exchanged currency on the Moscow stock exchange and the preferred choice for savings.

Furthermore, he highlighted the cooperation between Russian scientists and Chinese enterprises, particularly in areas such as space exploration, artificial intelligence and biotechnology.

Oleg Timofeev, an associate professor at Russia's RUDN University, said that Russian-Chinese economic ties have reached a record high, referring to the most recent data indicating that bilateral trade increased by almost 5 percent year-on-year in the first four months of 2024.

According to Timofeev, talks on economic, energy and innovation collaboration will take place during Putin's visit, since the Russian delegation comprises five deputy prime ministers, the foreign and defense ministers and heads of economic departments, as well as the CEOs of Russian state corporations from the nuclear, aeronautics, railway, nanotechnology and oil and gas sectors.

The comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era, established in 2019, elevated the relationship between the two nations to the pinnacle of bilateral ties, experts said.

Timofeev said that "strategic coordination" shows that the two countries intend to assume a greater and more important historical responsibility for the future of the world.

Experts also pointed out that the enduring personal friendship between President Xi Jinping and Putin over many years can often result in various symbolic gestures that hold significant diplomatic importance.

The two presidents have met on over 40 occasions in the past 10 years, both in person and virtually, surpassing all other leaders in frequency. They exchange birthday wishes and affectionately address each other as "old" or "dear" friends.

Timofeev recalled that over a decade ago, in 2013, President Xi chose Russia as the destination for his first state visit as China's head of state, a choice he repeated in March last year.

Putin's prompt visit to China, 10 days after his inauguration, appears to be a reciprocal gesture for one of his best friends among world leaders, Timofeev added.

Global Edition
Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349