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Xi's visit bolsters cause of true multilateralism

By XU WEIWEI in Hong Kong | China Daily | Updated: 2023-03-24 08:18
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Russian President Vladimir Putin holds a solemn welcome ceremony for Chinese President Xi Jinping at the St George's Hall at the Kremlin in Moscow, Russia, March 21, 2023. Xi on Tuesday held talks with Putin in Moscow. [Photo/Xinhua]

Closer China-Russia relations vital to world peace and stability, analysts note

President Xi Jinping's visit to Russia strengthens the cause of true multilateralism in the world against hegemony and bloc confrontation, while showing Sino-Russian ties as a model for relations between major countries, analysts have said.

Mehmood Ul Hassan Khan, executive director of the Center for South Asia & International Studies in Islamabad, said Russia and China have created a new, positive pattern of international relations between major powers and neighbors.

China and Russia "both stand for a multipolar world, constructive relationship, cooperation and coordination for the benefit of the entire planet", Khan said. "They are not obsessed to start any geopolitical conflicts ... with other countries as the United States does."

Sino-Russian bilateral relations do not have any military-political orientations, the Pakistani expert said, adding that Xi's latest trip has no hidden geopolitical or geostrategic agenda, unlike what was projected by Western media.

"China does not want to indulge or start any 'grand endgame theory' in the region" but simply wants peace and stability, according to Khan, who pointed out that "mutual annual official visits of heads of state of China and Russia have been a tradition since mid-1990s".

Karori Singh, former director of the South Asia Studies Centre at the University of Rajasthan, described the meeting between President Xi and Russian President Vladimir Putin as "deepening relationship in defining times". Xi's trip has global significance as the whole world was keeping an eye on the outcome of the talks, he said.

A responsible power

China attaches importance to its neighbor Russia, Singh said, noting that Xi's first visit was to Moscow when he became Chinese president in 2013, and again he chose to visit Russia first after being elected to a new term this month.

He also noted that Putin has hailed China as a responsible power by referring to the recent Saudi Arabia-Iran agreement that was facilitated by China, as well as Beijing's various programs such as the Global Development Initiative, the Global Security Initiative and the Global Civilization Initiative.

According to the Indian professor, the major outcome of Xi's latest Russia trip is twofold. First, signing of bilateral agreements covering a wide range of areas and issues of common concern, from agriculture to technology, including sustaining uninterrupted supply chains. Second, issuing of two joint statements — one, in regard to comprehensive strategic partnership coordination, and the other, in relation to an action plan to deepen development cooperation.

"The joint statements and talks are more positive and focused on reform and rejuvenation of global governance for serving common interests and shared future of humankind, rather than accusing one or a group of countries for present woes of the global community," Singh said.

He added that the major focus of the talks had been on expanding trade and economic relations, strategic partnership and world peace in a win-win framework.

"Obviously, the talks between the two sides are more realistic and of practical significance, rather than rhetorical preaching," he added.

As for the good outcome for international community, Swaran Singh, a professor of diplomacy and disarmament at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi, said a key positive is "President Putin accepting and endorsing China's 12-point Peace Proposal on Ukraine crisis".

The expert also said the recent rapprochement China delivered between Iran and Saudi Arabia gives hope that Beijing can achieve similar success in regard to the Ukraine conflict and emerge as a powerful peacemaker of our times.


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