Andrey Denisov named the three main results of Xi Jinping’s visit to Moscow

Just like in 2013, when Xi Jinping was first elected President of the People’s Republic of China, ten years later, he made his first foreign state visit after being elected for a new term on March 20-22, 2023, precisely to Moscow. This suggests that nothing “lost aim” in relations between Russia and China, which are gaining momentum. Why did the Chinese leader more often than on previous visits to our country, without looking at the summary, what a “new era” is for Russian-Chinese relations, and why in the final statement, Moscow and Beijing separately mentioned the unacceptability of “color revolutions” in Central Asia? Asia? The ex-ambassador of the Russian Federation to China (2013-2022), and now the first deputy head of the Federation Council Committee on International Affairs, spoke about this in an interview with Parliamentary Newspaper Andrey Denisov.

– Andrey Ivanovich, what are the main features of Xi Jinping’s ninth visit to Moscow as President of the People’s Republic of China?

– In my opinion, the demonstration effect this time was very high. We haven’t had such major foreign policy events for a long time, both because of the COVID-19 and because of the changing international situation. It is important to clarify that this was a state visit, which is carried out in order to emphasize the high level of bilateral relations and can be carried out by the head of a foreign state once during the entire period of his powers. And Xi Jinping made it a few days after his re-election as chairman of the PRC – he opened his new presidential term with them. This is a fact that is important.

As the Russian ambassador to China, I participated in the activities of the previous visits of both the Chinese leader to Moscow and our president to China. And I could notice that in communication between Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping, what is called “chemistry” arises – they perfectly understand each other. I note that the basis for this is the completely objective closeness or coincidence of interests of our countries in various fields – as the leadership of the PRC Foreign Ministry quite accurately stated earlier, in our relations “there is no ceiling and there are no taboo topics.” However, this time, within the framework of one visit, four meetings of the leaders of Russia and China took place at once. Some of them lasted three or four hours, and the total duration of communication, of course, exceeded even the unspoken protocol limits.

– Some observers noted that Xi Jinping seemed more relaxed during his visit to Moscow than in previous years. Do you agree with this?

– According to my personal feelings, this time Xi Jinping more often than before spoke not from a text prepared on paper, but from himself. He used figurative expressions and hidden quotations from Chinese classics in public speeches. For example, in his article in Rossiyskaya Gazeta, published on the eve of the visit, in the context of the fact that the Russian Federation and the PRC should vigorously go hand in hand along the path of development, he begins with the following phrase – “as soon as spring reigns, we must take ten thousand cases.” This testifies to the fact that the President of the People’s Republic of China felt quite free in Russia.

– One of the main outcomes of Xi Jinping’s visit was a joint statement by Russia and China “on deepening relations of comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation entering a new era” – a document whose text took up more than 20 pages. What, in your opinion, will characterize the new era mentioned in the title for China and Russia?

– I remember very well how the phrase “strategic partnership” appeared in relations between our countries – this first happened in the 90s at the suggestion of Yevgeny Maksimovich Primakov, who then held the post of Russian Foreign Minister. Over time, it has transformed into a “comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction.” And in 2019, the phrase about a “new era” in bilateral relations first appeared in Russian-Chinese documents. And it is characterized by extensive and comprehensive cooperation – wherever we can cooperate and where there is mutual interest, we interact with Chinese partners.

As for the new era in the international context, it is obvious that the world has entered a period of increased unpredictability and uncertainty, increased turbulence. And this is happening not through the fault of Russia or China, but because of the actions of those countries that we called partners quite recently.

– The joint statement contains a whole block of paragraphs that talk about US actions that Washington must stop – this concerns the activities of American biological laboratories in other countries, the expansion of missile defense systems, the immediate destruction of chemical weapons stockpiles in the States. At the same time, Russia and China indicate to NATO that the alliance must act within the framework of its status as a “defensive” and regional organization. And in connection with the creation of the trilateral AUKUS bloc between the US, UK and Australia and their plans to transfer nuclear submarines to Australia, Moscow and Beijing “strongly urge the members of this partnership to strictly comply with their obligations to non-proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and their means of delivery.” In your opinion, how close is the path from these words to deeds?

– I will say this – all the wording that we see in the paragraphs of the statement you cited testifies to the aggravation of our perception of the situation that has developed in the world. Let me emphasize that we are reacting to the actions already being taken or taken by the West. The same NATO was really created as a regional organization with defensive purposes. But when statements began that NATO’s sphere of interest was the entire globe, our Chinese friends were understandably alert. And our assessment of what is happening here coincides with the Chinese. The same applies to the AUKUS bloc, which is being created to “squeeze” China at the intersection of the Indian and Pacific Oceans.

The warnings made to Washington in the joint statement of the Russian Federation and China mean one thing – we see all Western threats, and we are ready and will respond to them.

– The statement says that China and Russia consider “color revolutions” in the countries of Central Asia to be unacceptable. Such an emphasis on this region was made for the first time – what is the reason for this?

– The statements of the West about their intentions to gain a foothold in Central Asia and plans to oust the Russian Federation and China from there have played their role. And due to the complication of the international situation associated with the crisis in Ukraine, the pressure on the countries of Central Asia from the United States intensified and took on completely intolerable forms. In fact, the authorities of these republics are presented with an ultimatum – you must be on the side of the United States and its allies! And Russia and China, in their joint statement, say that we will support the countries of the region so that they follow no one’s “orders”, but their national interests, which, in turn, are inseparable from mutually beneficial cooperation both with the Russian Federation and from China.

– What impressed you personally, as an experienced diplomat, most of all during Xi Jinping’s March visit to Moscow?

– Perhaps the fact that this time the agreements on cooperation in practical areas, fixed, including documented, have acquired a broad and comprehensive character. Previously, we referred to three or four joint projects, but now we are talking about creating an integral system of long-term economic interaction between the two states, using the advantages of each of them. This is a systematic approach with a constant readiness to translate everything into the plane of practical affairs. For example, we have previously spoken about the advantages of using the Northern Sea Route, but now it was announced that a working body should already be created to implement such plans for developing the transport and logistics capabilities of this promising route.

– What are the three main results of Xi Jinping’s visit to Moscow in March 2023?

– Just like in 2013, when Xi Jinping was first elected President of the People’s Republic of China, ten years later, he made his first foreign visit after being elected to Moscow. This suggests that nothing “lost the sight”, nothing prevented the PRC President from remaining committed to this symbolism, which is obvious to everyone. This is the first

The second is the complex nature of the visit, which I already mentioned earlier, and the third is that the friendly atmosphere of the visit this time was especially pronounced: this was evident both in the communication between the leaders and in everything that accompanied it.


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