Russia and China: New Horizons of Cooperation
On the eve of the state visit to China and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Beijing, I am glad to have the opportunity to directly appeal to the multimillion audience of one of the world's most authoritative print media, Renmin Ribao. To share our assessments of the prospects for the partnership of our countries, the role of Russian-Chinese relations in the modern world, which is undergoing a complex transformation process, faces serious challenges to global and regional security, attempts to blur the principles of international law, and economic and financial upheavals.
All these topics are discussed in the framework of leading international forums, occupy a special place in the negotiations at the highest level. I am confident that reasonable, collective approaches to solving the pressing problems of our time will prevail. The main thing is that any sober-minded politician, an expert in the field of economics and international relations today is aware that the global agenda cannot be formed and implemented "behind the back" of Russia and China, without taking their interests into account. Such is the geopolitical reality of the twenty-first century.
Under these conditions, we are aware of the overall responsibility for the further building of the Russian-Chinese strategic partnership for the long term. The importance of joint efforts in the framework of the UN and other multilateral organizations, regional structures.
And therefore, I associate high expectations with a rich program of upcoming meetings with the leaders of the PRC. I also look forward to the fruitful work of the next summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which will complete the successful chairmanship of China in this union.
Relations between Russia and the PRC are deservedly called an example of a new type of interstate relations. They are free from all sorts of prejudices and stereotypes. And this means that they are exceptionally stable, not subject to momentary conjuncture — which is very valuable in today's world, where there is an obvious lack of stability and mutual trust.
The global financial crisis in the 2008-2009 year showed how important it is for us to understand, to hear each other, to draw a common, agreed line. Joint infrastructure, energy projects, large orders and contracts, reciprocal investments became the resource that allowed our countries, our business communities to overcome challenges, create new jobs, and ensure the workload of many enterprises.
In 2011, the trade turnover between Russia and the PRC reached a record level - 83,5 billion. Today we set a goal in the medium term, by 2015 - to reach the level of 100 billion, and by 2020 - in 200 billion. Moreover, today's dynamics shows that such a bar can be overcome ahead of schedule.
What should be done for this. First of all - to optimize the structure, improve the quality of bilateral trade by increasing the share of high value-added products in it. There are objective conditions for this: the national markets of the two countries have a large capacity, the demand for modern goods and services is growing. We have good basic positions in education, science, technology. The experience of close industrial cooperation has been gained.
We intend to actively promote major joint projects in civil aviation, astronautics, and other high-tech areas. And also - in the area of technoparks, industrial clusters, special economic zones - both in Russia and in China. I believe that we should talk about the present technological alliance of the two countries. About building industrial, innovative chains that will connect our enterprises, scientific, design, engineering centers. On joint entry into the markets of third countries.
We also need to rebuild the “modern building” of the financial, investment infrastructure of bilateral business relations. It is already obvious that we must quickly implement the decisions taken on the transition to settlements in national currencies in the implementation of mutual trade, investment and other operations. Thus, to insure yourself against all sorts of currency risks and strengthen the position of the ruble and the yuan.
I want to note the strategic nature of the dialogue between Russia and China in the energy sector. Our joint projects are seriously changing the entire configuration of the global energy market. For China, this is an increase in reliability, diversification of energy supplies for domestic needs. For Russia - the opening of new export routes to the dynamic Asia-Pacific region.
Among the results already achieved, I will single out the launch of the Russian-Chinese oil pipeline, which last year supplied 15 million tons of oil. Conclusion of a long-term - for 25 years - contract for the supply of Russian electricity to China. Growth in 2011 to 10,5 million tons of Russian coal exports to the Chinese market and plans for the joint development of coal deposits. We hope that in the foreseeable future we will be able to begin large-scale deliveries of Russian gas to the PRC.
Wide opportunities are opened by teamwork in the field of use of a peaceful atom. With Russian participation, the first stage of the Tianwan NPP has been built, which is recognized as the safest in China by the results of stress tests. Last year - with the help of our specialists - an experimental fast neutron reactor was put into operation in the PRC. Thus, China has become the fourth country in the world, after Russia, Japan and France, which has similar technology. The construction of the fourth stage of the uranium enrichment plant was completed ahead of schedule. We count on continued cooperation in the second and next phases of the Tianwan station, as well as on participation in the construction of other energy facilities in China.
The driving force, the source of Russian-Chinese relations is friendship and mutual understanding between nations. The exchange of national Years, years of the Russian language in China and Chinese in Russia was a great success. Now this year took the baton of Russian tourism. I am sure that the coming Year of Chinese tourism in Russia will attract increased interest.
I believe that the time has come to come to grips with the development of a long-term Action Plan for the development of Russian-Chinese cooperation in the humanitarian sphere.
Naturally, during the upcoming visit, topical international problems will be discussed. These include strategic stability, disarmament and non-proliferation. weapons mass destruction, counteraction to the whole complex of challenges and threats to sustainable development, life and well-being of our citizens, including terrorism, separatism, organized crime, illegal migration.
On all these topics, the positions of Russia and China practically coincide, based on the principles of responsibility and adherence to the basic values of international law. On unconditional respect for the interests of a friend. And therefore - it is easy for us to find a common language, to develop a common tactic and strategy. At the same time - to make constructive beginnings in the international discussion on the most acute, topical issues. Whether this concerns the situation in the Middle East and North Africa, the situation around Syria and Afghanistan, the problems of the Korean Peninsula and the Iranian nuclear program.
I stress once again that the strategic partnership of Russia and China is an effective factor strengthening regional and world stability.
It is in this logic that we are working on strengthening cooperation within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, the decade of which was celebrated last year.
I happened to stand at the origins of the creation of this association. Time has convincingly confirmed that our choice - to take a step from the "Shanghai Five" to a full-fledged interaction structure - was correct.
Today the SCO is a dynamically developing multilateral organization. Of course, its enormous potential has yet to be fully realized. But today, looking back at the path we have traveled, it can be said with certainty that the SCO has gained considerable authority, its voice sounds confidently in the international arena.
The SCO brought a lot of new and useful things to world politics. First of all, she proposed a partnership model based on the true equality of all participants, on their mutual trust, on respect for the sovereign, independent choice of each nation, on its culture, values, traditions, on the desire for common development. Such a philosophy - in fact, best embodies the basic, and in my opinion - the only viable principles of international relations in a multipolar world.
Largely thanks to the SCO, the efforts of its members, their cooperation with a wide range of foreign partners, it was possible to significantly reduce terrorist activity in the region. But the challenges we face today are becoming ever more multifaceted, they are becoming more complex and modifying. The bearers of the ideas of terrorism, separatism, extremism improve subversive methods, recruit new fighters into their ranks, expand sources of funding.
All this requires us to build the capacity of the SCO in matters of security, effective adjustment of interaction mechanisms. That is why we pay special attention to the approval at the upcoming summit of the Program of cooperation of the SCO member states in combating terrorism, separatism and extremism for 2013-2015 and the new edition of the Provision on political and diplomatic measures and mechanisms to respond to situations that threaten peace, security and stability in the region.
Another serious challenge is the link between terrorism, drug production and drug trafficking. The fight against this evil requires concerted collective action. Such cooperation should be actively developed, first of all, in line with the SCO Anti-drug strategy.
Our common concern is the situation in Afghanistan. The SCO is making a significant contribution to helping the Afghan people in their efforts to revive this long-suffering country. Another concrete step will be the decision at the summit to grant observer status to Afghanistan. With Afghan leader Hamid Karzai, we will discuss further prospects for joint work within the framework of the SCO.
The SCO was created as a structure designed to ensure stability and security in the vast Eurasian space. And we consider it counterproductive to any attempts by third countries to take any unilateral actions in the region of the responsibility of the SCO.
At the same time, the SCO is an open organization, ready to interact with all interested partners. That is the principle enshrined in its Charter. Participating in the activities of the SCO are observer states - India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan. The status of the SCO dialogue partner has been granted to Belarus and Sri Lanka. At this summit, Turkey will join them. Taking into account the growing attention to the activities of the SCO, issues are being addressed to further strengthen the legal framework for the expansion of the Organization.
The experience of the SCO suggests interesting, very promising and promising solutions for the entire world community. I mean the development of common, suiting all approaches, as they say, “from below”. First - within separate regional structures, and then - through a dialogue between them. Of such regional building blocks, the more stable, predictable nature of global politics and economics can emerge.
In our opinion, the future of international relations is largely associated with the development of just such a “network diplomacy”. The tendency of the SCO member-states was perspicaciously perceived by the tendency to form an extensive partner network of multilateral unions in the Asia-Pacific region in 2004. Today, the SCO is energetically building up cooperation with the United Nations, the CIS, the CSTO, EurAsEC, ASEAN, ESCAP and other international structures.
We see the establishment of cooperation between the SCO and the Eurasian Economic Community, and later the Eurasian Economic Union, as a new and very promising vector of work. I am convinced that the activities of these associations can mutually enrich and effectively complement each other.
There is no doubt the need to back up political cooperation within the SCO framework - active cooperation in the economic sphere. Organizations are able to implement the largest joint projects. Why should it not be in our common interests to take advantage of such obvious advantages as the possibilities of the dynamically developing Chinese economy, the technological potential of modernizing Russia, the richest natural resources of the countries of Central Asia? I think that it is necessary to pay special attention to cooperation in the field of energy, transport and infrastructure, agriculture, high technologies, primarily information and communication.
But for this, we need to create really working mechanisms for financial support and management of project activities within the SCO. There should be platforms where joint plans will be formed, a kind of "assembly point" of multilateral programs. As an example of such an approach, I will mention the SCO Energy Club, the formation of which reached the final stretch.
The significant potential for further development of the SCO lies in the development of direct links between the business community and companies of our countries. I am confident that the business forum to be held in Beijing during the days of the summit will demonstrate the wide possibilities of public-private partnership for the promotion of economic cooperation. It is important to energetically connect the industrial and banking circles of our countries to the implementation of our plans. This will require more efficient and persistent work of the Business Council and the SCO Interbank Association, which have a fairly substantial package of proposals.
It is also in our common interest to increase cooperation in the field of healthcare, culture, sports, education and science. One of the brightest undertakings of the SCO, the Network University, which today unites 65 universities of the Organization’s member states, convincingly demonstrates the opportunities that are here. His rector's office will be located in Moscow. We are ready to actively promote this promising and necessary project in the most active way.
Entering into the second decade of their storiesThe SCO continues to evolve and improve. The guidelines for its activities will continue to be determined by the immutability of the key principles and the continuity of goals, naturally taking into account the dynamics of the rapidly changing international situation. This approach will be reflected in the main areas of the SCO development strategy for the medium term - in the basic document that we intend to discuss and adopt.
We associate really high expectations with the upcoming Russian-Chinese summit talks and the SCO summit in Beijing. After all, a prosperous China is needed by Russia. In turn, China, I am convinced, needs a successful Russia. Our partnership is not aimed against anyone, but aimed at creation, at strengthening justice and democratic principles in international life. And therefore - claimed by time.
An ancient Chinese proverb says: "common aspirations are common forces." We are ready to work together - in the interests of our states and peoples. And it will definitely bring worthy results.