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China ties to strengthen, Russian lawmaker says

By REN QI in Moscow | CHINA DAILY | Updated: 2021-07-15 09:24

The assistance that Russia and China extended to each other during the pandemic highlights the strength of the bilateral relationship, a senior Russian official said in calling for cooperation between the neighbors to be further strengthened.

Konstantin Kosachev, deputy speaker of the Russian Federation Council, said the restoration of the normal flow of cross-border exchanges is keenly sought by both sides.

"The two countries lent a timely helping hand to each other amid the coronavirus pandemic. As they say in China, to give coal to a neighbor during a snowfall," Kosachev said during a virtual meeting between Russian and Chinese regional officials on Tuesday.

"We have sent humanitarian cargo, medical specialists. We have efficiently coordinated efforts on the repatriation of citizens and border checkpoint regimes," he said of cooperation that began early in the pandemic. "Further improvement in cooperation in this field remains sought after, considering the need to restore the normal rhythm of cross-border exchanges."

He noted that this year marks the 20th anniversary of the China-Russia Treaty of Good-neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation.

"This treaty played the most important role in the establishment of a new model of bilateral relations, while encompassing many centuries of positive experience of our interaction," he said.

"This is a historic document, and… it serves as a basis for the practical work on the entire scope of Russian-Chinese cooperation."

Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin held talks via video link on June 28 and jointly announced the extension of the treaty beyond its scheduled expiry in February 2022.

With the treaty, the two countries entered a new age of strategic cooperation and comprehensive partnership, characterized by even greater mutual support in all fields, said Kosachev.

High-level meetings

He said the strength of ties has been demonstrated by the intensity of Russian-Chinese high level meetings that have been maintained all along, as well as by the record-high level of bilateral trade-almost $108 billion.

Kosachev stressed that interparliamentary ties have played a significant role.

A core element of interaction is the inter-parliamentary commission on cooperation between the Federal Assembly of Russia and the National People's Congress of China, established in 2005, he said.

"We on the Russian side confirm our readiness to develop the commission's format, including the hopefully upcoming meeting of the commission this fall," Kosachev said.

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