On March 20, the third page of the “People’s Daily” published an article by Russian President Vladimir Putin entitled “Russia and China-Future-oriented Partnership”. The original text is as follows:
It is a great pleasure to publish an article in one of the world’s largest and most authoritative newspapers to pay tribute to the friendly Chinese people on the eve of President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Russia. This visit is of great significance and proves once again that the partnership between Russia and China is unique and has always been based on mutual trust and respect for each other’s sovereignty and interests.
We have high hopes for the upcoming talks. There is no doubt that this meeting will inject new and powerful impetus into bilateral cooperation in various fields. For me, it was also a good opportunity to meet my old friends, whom we have a particularly cordial relationship with.
Comrade Xi Jinping and I met in March 2010, when he led a high-level Chinese delegation to visit Moscow. Our first meeting was very pragmatic, yet honest and friendly. I personally like this style of communication. I know that in China, people place great importance on friendship and relationship between people. The wise Confucius said: “Is it a pleasure to have friends from afar?” We Russians also highly value these qualities, for us a true friend is like a brother. In this regard, the people of our two countries are very similar.
Three years later, also in March, we met again in our capital. Russia is the first country President Xi Jinping visits after taking office as president. That meeting set the tone for Russia-China relations in the next few years, heralded the momentum of good cooperation between the two countries, clearly demonstrated the particularity of Russia-China relations, and pointed out the direction for the accelerated and steady development of Russia-China relations.
Another ten years passed. Judging by the history of the two countries, ten years is just a moment, but the two countries are connected by hundreds of years of tradition of good-neighborliness and cooperation. In the past ten years, the world has changed a lot, and there have been many bad changes, but the most important thing has not changed, that is, the solid Russia-China friendship continues to strengthen, benefiting the two countries and the two peoples. The relationship between the two countries has progressed amazingly, reaching an all-time high and continuing to strengthen vigorously. From a qualitative perspective, this relationship goes beyond the military-political alliances of the Cold War, without leaders and followers, without any boundaries or forbidden areas. The political dialogue between the two countries is extremely trusted, and it is a comprehensive strategic coordination in the new era. I have met and talked with President Xi Jinping 40 times, and I always find time and opportunity to communicate on various formal occasions or in an informal way “without a tie”.