Xi, Putin sign joint statement on deepening comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for the new era
Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin jointly signed and released here on Tuesday the Joint Statement of the People’s Republic of China and the Russian Federation on Deepening the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership of Coordination for the New Era at the Kremlin in Moscow.
In the statement, the two sides pointed out that China-Russia relations are not the kind of military-political alliance during the Cold War, but transcend such a model of state-to-state relations and have the nature of no-alliance, no-confrontation and not targeting any third party.
They said that different countries have different histories, cultures and national conditions, and they all have the right to choose their own development path. There is no such a thing as a superior “democracy.” The Russian side highly regards the Global Civilization Initiative proposed by the Chinese side.
The Russian side in the statement reaffirms its adherence to the one-China principle, recognizes Taiwan as an inalienable part of Chinese territory, opposes any form of “Taiwan independence,” and firmly supports China’s measures to safeguard its sovereignty and territorial integrity.
Both sides agree to strengthen cooperation in law enforcement such as preventing the “color revolution,” and cracking down on the “three forces” including the “East Turkistan Islamic Movement,” transnational organized crime, economic crime and drug crime.
The two, according to the statement, will build a closer partnership for energy cooperation, support enterprises of both sides in promoting energy cooperation projects such as oil and gas, coal, electricity and nuclear energy, and promote the implementation of initiatives that will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including the use of low-emission energy and renewable energy.
They will also jointly safeguard international energy security including the security of key cross-border infrastructure, and maintain the stability of industry and supply chains of energy products.
Russia spoke highly of the Global Development Initiative (GDI) and will continue to participate in the work of the Group of Friends of the GDI.
The two countries call on an objective, impartial and professional investigation into the explosion of the Nord Stream pipeline, said the statement, adding that they jointly oppose the attempt to politicize origin tracing of viruses.
China and Russia express serious concerns about the consequences and risks of the trilateral security partnership – AUKUS and related nuclear-powered submarine cooperation programs among the United States, Britain and Australia on regional strategic stability.
The two sides strongly urge AUKUS members to strictly fulfill their obligations of non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery, and safeguard regional peace, stability and development.
They also express serious concern about Japan’s plan to discharge nuclear-contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear power plant accident into the sea this year, and stressed that Japan must conduct transparent and full consultations with neighboring countries and other stakeholders and relevant international agencies.
The two sides urged Japan to properly handle the nuclear-contaminated water in a scientific, transparent and safe manner, and accept the long-term supervision of the International Atomic Energy Agency and related countries, so as to effectively protect the marine environment and the rights to health of people of all countries.
Also in the statement, the two sides expressed serious concern about the biological military activities of the United States, both inside and outside the country, which seriously threaten other countries and undermine the security of relevant regions. They demand that the United States make clarification on this, and refrain from carrying out all biological activities that violate the Biological Weapons Convention.
The two sides urge NATO to abide by its commitments as a regional and defensive organization, and call on NATO to respect the sovereignty, security, interests as well as diversity of civilizations, history and culture of other countries, and treat their peaceful development in an objective and fair manner.
They also express serious concern about NATO’s continuous strengthening of military security ties with Asian-Pacific countries and undermining regional peace and stability. The two sides oppose piecing together a closed and exclusive group structure in the region, and stirring group politics and camp confrontation.
China and Russia, said the statement, express concern over the situation in the Korean Peninsula, and urge the U.S. side to respond to the legitimate and reasonable concerns of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea with practical actions and create conditions for the resumption of dialogues.
China’s first-quarter economy grows by 4.5% as recovery accelerates
China’s gross domestic product (GDP) expanded 4.5 percent year on year in the first quarter of 2023 as economic activities gain traction, data from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) showed on Tuesday.
“We are seeing an accelerating recovery in all sectors with stronger momentum, including the improving domestic demand,” said Pang Ming, chief economist and director of Research at JLL Greater China.
The growth rate was higher than analysts’ expectation of 4 percent in a Reuters poll.
The market expectation has significantly improved since the start of the year, said Fu Linghui, spokesperson of the NBS. He added that the economy’s growth rate in the second quarter is expected to accelerate significantly compared to the first quarter because of the low comparison base in the same period last year.
Going forward, Pang cautioned that policy support and targeted easing are still needed to secure sustainable growth amid external uncertainties.
China’s macroeconomic policies should keep domestic demand expansion as a priority in light of generally weak external demand, said Cheng Shi, chief economist at ICBC International.
In the first quarter, the total retail sales of consumer goods rose 5.8 percent year on year. Notably in March, consumer spending surged 10.6 percent year on year, 7.1 percentage points higher than that in the first two months.
There is divergence in the recovery pace among different consumption types, said Wen Bin, chief analyst at China Minsheng Bank. Offline and get-together spending continued to pick up, while the durable goods consumption was lacking, reflecting people’s income and willingness to shop require a further boost, he added.
A recent central bank survey of depositors showed that “tourism” tops the list of the expected increase in expenditure in the second quarter.
The investment in fixed assets grew by 5.1 percent year on year in the first quarter while the total added value of large industrial enterprises grew by 3.0 percent in the same period.
China has set a GDP growth target of around 5 percent for this year. Local governments around the country are gearing up support for the economy including optimizing the business environment, stabilizing employment and promoting consumption.
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