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Xi Jinping: Sino-Russian Relations Are at ‘the Best Time in Their History’

July 3, 2017 (EIRNS)—Prior to his arrival in Moscow for his state visit with Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping granted interviews to several Russian media, explaining his view of current Sino-Russian relations, which he described as enjoying "the best time in their history," and perspectives for deepening an already-strong bilateral relationship, expanding cooperation across a whole range of areas, both in the international arena and bilaterally.

Most telling was Xi’s statement, reported by TASS, Rossiyskya Gazeta, and Xinhua, among others, that "the two nations are each other’s most trustworthy strategic partners," and that they have built a very high-level political and strategic trust.

"President [Vladimir] Putin and I have built good working relations and a close personal friendship," Xi emphasized, and predicted that his visit to Moscow will

"inject new impetus into the development of China-Russia relations....the fast-growing pragmatic cooperation has become the locomotive in the continuous development of Russia-China relations,"

he added.

In his discussion of areas of economic cooperation—trade, energy, high-technology, and Chinese involvement in the development of Russia’s Far East—Xi emphasized that efforts are underway to "align" China’s Belt and Road Initiative with the Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union. He specifically mentioned cross-border infrastructure projects, such as the North Polar sea route, which he said would promote inter-connectivity and "inject new vigor into bilateral cooperation."

Cooperation on combatting international terrorism is of the utmost importance, Xi said, as this sets an example for the world to follow. It is in the fundamental interests of both nations, and conducive to world peace and stability, he emphasized. He stressed, moreover, the need to intensify cooperation and coordination with such multilateral entities as the United Nations and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), given that international terror groups are calling for, and planning, more attacks globally. Clearly referencing the strategies of the U.S. and some Western allies, Xi warned that some countries are using the fight against terrorism to further their own interests, and are thus applying "double standards"—i.e., those who would use the anti-terror campaign for geopolitical purposes. This has negatively affected the global anti-terror fight, Xi said.

In this regard, Xi urged that regional "hotspots" be dealt with properly. Assistance should be extended to the Middle East nations, including Syria, to restore stability as soon as possible, he said, and "long-term comprehensive policies" must be adopted to "root out the breeding ground for terrorism."

Xi was adamant on the issue of the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) ballistic missile defense system deployment in South Korea, warning that it "does serious damage to the strategic security interests of all countries in the region," including China and Russia. This deployment won’t help denuclearize the Korean peninsula, Xi added, but will provoke further tensions. "Moscow and Beijing have a similar view on the nature of the THAAD deployment, he said, and

"will take adequate measures to ensure their national security and strategic balance in the region, both in cooperation with each other and on their own."

The crisis on the Korean peninsula, Xi underscored, can only be resolved through dialogue, that will take into account the "reasonable concerns" of all parties involved. He called for a two-track approach, involving both gradual nuclear disarmament of North Korea and cessation of joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises in the region.