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Putin Underlines Importance of BRI and Role of Xi in China Interview

Oct. 16, 2023, (EIRNS)—Prior to his trip to China, Russian President Vladimir Putin gave an interview to Wang Guan of China Media Group. In today’s interview, President Putin praised the Belt and Road Initiative and President Xi Jinping’s call for a community of shared interest.

“I think it was very timely and is developing well, because the focal point of this idea is an attempt to unite the capabilities of many countries to achieve common development goals. Today, in one way or another, President Xi Jinping’s ideas have involved you know, how many? Some 147 countries, two-thirds of the world’s population. So I think this is already a success, this is a good, correct and technologically organized initiative that is developing.”

Putin observed that Xi’s concept of a community of shared interests first appeared during an event that Xi was attending in Moscow:

“Thank you for bringing this up. As far as I understand, these ideas were first formulated in general terms in about 2013 during President Xi Jinping’s visit to Moscow, where he spoke at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations [MGIMO] and brought this up for the first time.

“Of course, this is a global approach to human history. For sure, everything is interconnected. And today, with the formation of a multipolar world, these ideas have become even more relevant. He spoke about it in 2013, and today these ideas are actually being realized. This is extremely important.”

Putin also remarked that Russia-China relations have been developing quite rapidly over the last 20 years:

“Relations between Russia and China—you know, I am telling you what immediately comes to my mind after you asked your question—have not been shaped to suit the current global environment; nor are they the result of short-term political opportunism. Russian-Chinese relations have been shaped for 20 years in a careful, phased-out manner. At each step, the Russian and Chinese sides have both guided themselves by their own national interests as they understood them. While encouraging the other side to take the next step, both have always taken into account each other’s opinions and interests. We have always tried to reach a compromise, even on complicated issues inherited from the old days.”

Putin said that the trade relations would reach the level of $200 billion that the two countries had agreed upon. This would include the usual energy supplies provided by Russia and agricultural products, as well as agricultural equipment, which is exported to help China in its own farm production. Putin indicated that Russia was also assisting China in its nuclear power development, particularly with the development of fast breeder reactors:

“The amount of coal and electricity supplied is increasing and we continue to build nuclear units. And not only to build units at two plants, but we are working on a fast neutron reactor, which will provide us with an entirely new way of building relations in this high-tech energy sector as it creates conditions for a closed cycle and, in fact, there will be virtually no waste.”

The Russian President responded to a question about the role of the BRICS and its expansion at the South Africa summit in August:

“First of all, I want to say that the expansion itself was quite uneasy. It was a challenging, I would even say difficult dialogue. But largely due to the efforts of our chairperson, the President of the Republic of South Africa Cyril Ramaphosa (I want to emphasize his role once again), we managed to come to this consensus and to reach an agreement.

“What is at the core of the expansion process? This process is based on objective reality. The multipolar world is creating itself, as a matter of fact. We can speed up this process or someone can try to slow it down and maybe even achieve some kind of reduction in the pace of building a multipolar world. Anyway, its creation is inevitable. It is happening on its own because of the growing potential of many countries, including, not least, the growing potential of the People’s Republic of China.”

Putin shared the following thoughts with respect to China’s President Xi Jinping:

“It is good that you recalled his speech at MGIMO in 2013 and I connected it with the Belt and Road Initiative. I will repeat it for the third time, but it is very important: he is a leader who does not make momentary decisions on the basis of some current situation, but he assesses the situation, analyzes it and looks into the future. This is very important. This is exactly what distinguishes a world leader from people whom we call ‘time servers,’ who are there for a brief moment just to show off on the international stage, and then they are gone.

“Of course, President Xi Jinping is absolutely different. He is attentive to detail, cool-headed, business-minded and a reliable partner—that is what I wanted to underline. If we agree on something, we can be sure that both sides will keep their end of the bargain.”

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