BEIJING, Dec. 29 (Xinhua) -- With the eventful 2020 coming to an end, China and Russia are working together to reinforce their hard-won cooperation fruits over the year, and eyeing new development of bilateral ties and closer coordination in the upcoming new year.
The world has witnessed unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, and is entering a period of turbulence and transformation in which the global political and economic situation and international order are facing a strong impact.
Against this backdrop, China and Russia have attached more importance to strengthening cooperation, and achieved fruitful results in supporting each other, safeguarding international fairness and justice and practicing multilateralism.
Over the year, the once-in-a-century pandemic has posed grave danger to global public health, dealt a heavy blow to world economy and threatened international solidarity.
Facing the harsh situation, China and Russia have firmly supported each other in combating the virus, played a leading role in international anti-epidemic cooperation, and fought together against the "political virus."
To add vigor to the hard-hit economy, the two countries have smoothly promoted coordination between the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and the Eurasian Economic Union which includes Russia. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), whose member states convened a series of meetings in November, has been a key platform for building greater integration in this regard.
Meanwhile, multilateral frameworks, including the SCO, the Group of 20 and BRICS, have become stages for China and Russia to actively take the lead in opposing unilateralism and promoting multilateral cooperation amid the ravaging pandemic.
The two countries also jointly celebrated the 75th anniversary of the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War and the founding of the United Nations.
In an exchange of messages with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping said in September that he is ready to work with Putin to join efforts with the international community to resolutely safeguard the victory of the Second World War as well as international fairness and justice.
As the two countries have maintained regular high-level exchanges, people-to-people exchanges have also been strengthened this year, providing new development opportunities for bilateral ties.
The time-tested friendship between the two peoples has also been added a touch of liveliness by the staying of a pair of giant pandas, Ru Yi and Ding Ding, in Moscow.
In late August, China and Russia launched their Year of Scientific and Technological Innovation. With concerted efforts, the number of activities scheduled to be held under it has exceeded 1,000, which showed the huge potential of the two sides' cooperation on scientific and technological innovation, said Chinese Vice Premier Sun Chunlan at the opening ceremony via video link.
True gold can stand the test of fire, and the difficult period has given more prominence to the unique strength and great value of the China-Russia relationship, Xi said Monday in a telephone conversation with Putin, during which the two heads of state exchanged new year greetings.
Andrey Karneev, professor and head of the School of Asian Studies of Russia's Higher School of Economics, found such a bilateral relationship significant that not only promotes stability and socio-economic development in both countries, but also serves as "an example of a partnership for other countries."
Russia and China "take very similar stances in relation to many issues on the international agenda," and both leaders "have extensive experience in the development of our countries and put the interests of the masses at the forefront," Karneev told Xinhua.
As 2021 marks the 20th anniversary of the signing of the China-Russia Treaty of Good-neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation, the two countries are looking forward to taking it as an opportunity to further deepen their friendship and bilateral cooperation.
"In these 20 years, (bilateral) relations have developed on an upward trend, without any lows ... and the relationship has reached a new level," said Yana Leksyutina, professor of St. Petersburg State University, adding that there has been "a high level of trust and coordination" in the Russia-China partnership.
"Russia has repeatedly expressed and in deeds demonstrated respect for the fundamental interests of China, which we see in response from China as well," Leksyutina said.
In their telephone conversation on Monday, Xi and Putin voiced their commitment to unswervingly developing the comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era between the two countries, realizing their respective development and revitalization, and making greater contributions to building a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind.
China, Xi said, is actively fostering a new development paradigm and promoting reform and opening-up at a higher starting point, which will provide broader development opportunities for China-Russia cooperation.
He also urged the two sides to better synergize their development strategies and strengthen new forms and new drivers of cooperation, as well as carry forward the China-Russia Year of Scientific and Technological Innovation program.
By strengthening strategic cooperation, China and Russia can effectively resist any attempt to suppress and divide the two countries, and meanwhile forge a solid shield to safeguard international fairness and justice, Xi said.
Putin said he is willing to work with Xi to continuously provide strategic leadership and ensure further development of bilateral ties in the new year, adding that Russia stands ready to join hands with China to deepen strategic coordination and cooperation in international affairs, and contribute to global strategic stability.
Russia and China "don't advocate striving for selfish interests, but seek to promote the overall progress of the global community," said Karneev. Enditem