22nd March 2023 – (Moscow) Chinese President Xi Jinping has embarked on his first foreign trip since being re-elected earlier this month, with Russia as his first destination. This state visit has garnered global attention, particularly in light of the Russia-Ukraine conflict’s first anniversary. Many expect President Xi to promote peace talks between Moscow and Kyiv during his visit.

The meeting between the two heads of state is expected to further strengthen the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination in the new era. Since 2013, Xi and Putin have held 40 meetings, discussing bilateral and international issues ranging from strengthening ties to global governance.

China and Russia have bolstered strategic mutual trust, creating a new pattern of international relations. Despite being major countries, they have cooperated to help stabilize the global situation, formulating domestic and foreign policies in accordance with their interests and demands without targeting any third party.

Trade and economy have been the foundation of bilateral ties. In 2022, the bilateral trade volume increased by 34.3 percent year-on-year to reach 1.28 trillion yuan ($185.41 billion). Energy trade hit $33.78 billion in the first two months of 2023, up 36.4 percent year-on-year.

People-to-people exchanges between the two sides have enriched bilateral ties, thanks to many China-Russia Year of Exchange themes. The sports-themed 2022-23 China-Russia Year of Exchange has been a great success.

Xi’s ongoing visit to Russia is expected to boost China-Russia win-win cooperation and promote the integration of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and Russia’s Eurasia Economic Union.

The two countries have pledged to abide by non-alignment, non-confrontation and non-targeting of any third country. On the Russia-Ukraine conflict, China refuses to take sides but disagrees with NATO’s use of the crisis to wage a proxy war against Russia.

China has adhered to the UN Charter and basic norms of international relations on the Russia-Ukraine issue. During Xi’s visit to Russia, China will try to play a constructive role in brokering peace between the warring sides.

On the Taiwan question, Russia has taken a clear position, reaffirming its support for the one-China principle. “The Russian side confirms that Taiwan is an inalienable part of China and opposes any form of independence of Taiwan,” said the China-Russia joint statement on 4th Feb, 2022.

President Xi’s visit to Russia is set to strengthen China-Russia relations, restore global peace and promote global development amid rising uncertainties worldwide.