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Russian president backs China's Silk Road proposal
By ZHANG YUNBI ( China Daily ) Updated: 2015-04-09 04:53:13

Russian President Vladimir Putin has voiced support for China's Silk Road Economic Belt initiative, which is aimed at reviving the ancient Eurasian trading route.

Putin told visiting Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi in the Kremlin on Tuesday that Moscow supports the initiative, proposed by President Xi Jinping, and "steadfastly supports China's efforts in championing core interests".

An official release issued after an earlier meeting between Wang and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov said both countries are ready to "proactively explore" cooperation on the Silk Road plan and Russia's idea of creating a "passage" between Asia and Europe and integrating Eurasian economies.

Countries including Russia and Central Asian nations have shown increasing interest in the Silk Road Economic Belt, proposed by Xi in 2013.

Xing Guangcheng, a senior scholar at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said the consensus on Tuesday indicates the two countries are "taking a tangible step forward".

They are shifting from preliminary supportive language for each other to joint efforts in initiating working-level liaison on the two concepts, Xing said.

In late March, the State Council authorized a landmark document — "Vision and Actions on Jointly Building the Silk Road Economic Belt and 21st Century Maritime Silk Road—to be issued, outlining the blueprints.

At his meeting with Putin, Wang suggested "docking" the Chinese and Russian initiatives "in order to tackle new changes in the international and regional situation".

Wang told a joint news conference that Russia's "look East" policy and China's accelerated westward openings "have created historic opportunities for docking the two countries' development strategies".

Li Hui, China's ambassador to Russia, said in a speech to university students in Moscow in February that "the Belt and Road" could meet bilateral cooperation programs halfway, such as Sino-Russian oil and gas pipelines and China's participation in the development of Russia's Far East.

Yang Cheng, deputy director of the Center for Russian Studies at East China Normal University, said the bilateral readiness on "docking" shows that Russia has a deeper understanding of the strategic benefit to come.

Putin also said he expects that Xi will visit Moscow in May for celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of victory in World War II.

Wang, who laid a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Moscow's Red Square earlier in the day, said

the 70th anniversary of victory in WWII is an opportunity to strengthen coordination on international affairs and to uphold mutual interests.

Both countries agreed after the foreign ministers' discussions that they "have both the duty and obligation to support each other" when they host the commemorations jointly or separately, in order to remember history, inspire following generations and better ensure world peace.

Xinhua contributed to this story.

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Xi's Russia visit promotes global strategic stability

By CAO DESHENG in Beijing and Ren Qi in Moscow | | Updated: 2023-03-22 23:31

President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin shake hands during a document signing ceremony following their talks at the Kremlin in Moscow on Tuesday. [Photo/Xinhua]
Cooperation: Visit boosts Sino-Russian economic ties

President Xi Jinping wrapped up his three-day state visit to Russia on Wednesday, a trip of special significance in boosting bilateral ties and promoting global strategic stability amid the ongoing Ukraine crisis.

State Councilor and Foreign Minister Qin Gang described the visit as "a historic trip of friendship, peace and cooperation".

Briefing the Chinese media after the visit was concluded, Qin said that Xi and Russian President Vladimir Putin had hours of sincere, friendly and fruitful talks, and exchanged their views on bilateral relations, the Ukraine crisis and major international issues, and reached a broad consensus.

Under the new circumstances, China and Russia stay committed to promoting the comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination, which benefits the two peoples and will make new contributions to human development and progress, he said.

The two presidents signed and released a joint statement on deepening the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era, in which the two sides made it clear that China-Russia relations transcend those of a Cold War military-political alliance and have the nature of no-alliance, no-confrontation and not targeting any third party.

While underlining the need for China and Russia to boost pragmatic cooperation in various fields, the two countries reiterated their commitment in the joint statement to firmly upholding the international system with the United Nations at the core, opposing hegemonism, unilateralism and power politics in any form, and opposing bloc confrontation and the forming of small circles targeting a specific country.

On the Ukraine crisis, the two countries stressed that responsible dialogue is the best way to achieve appropriate solutions. They called for stopping all moves leading to tensions and the protraction of the conflict, and opposing any unilateral sanctions not authorized by the UN Security Council, the statement said.

They also expressed their concerns about the continuous strengthening of NATO's military ties in the Asia-Pacific and its negative influence on regional peace and security.

Observers said that as two major countries in the world, China and Russia strengthening their relationship is crucial to each other's development and to the global geopolitical landscape.

Alexsander Bobrov, a foreign policy expert at MGIMO University in Moscow, said Xi's visit will further boost Sino-Russian economic cooperation.

China has been Russia's largest trade partner for 13 consecutive years. In 2022, China-Russia trade exceeded $190 billion, an increase of 116 percent from a decade ago.

In the first two months of 2023, bilateral trade increased 25.9 percent year-on-year to $33.69 billion, while the two nations have also notably heightened the synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and the Eurasian Economic Union in recent years.

Sergey Malakhov, executive director of the Institute for the Development of Parliamentarism in Russia, said the meeting between the two leaders has significant meaning not only for Russia but also for the international community, as Western countries are waging an aggressive public political campaign to put pressure on Russia, seeking to weaken the country's position on the international stage.

During his joint news conference with Putin on Tuesday, Xi said that China-Russia relations go far beyond the bilateral scope and are crucial to the world and the future of mankind.

Through multilateral institutions like the UN, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, BRICS and the G20, China and Russia have worked closely on regional and global security.

Imran Khalid, a freelance columnist on international affairs, wrote in an op-ed piece published by the China Global Television Network website that what Westerners are unable to see is the solid core of trust that has evolved between China and Russia in the past two decades. Promoting multipolarity and the democratization of international relations are the two fundamental elements that create strong bonds between the two sides, he wrote.

Khalid commended China's position on the Ukraine issue, saying it is one of "active neutrality", which reflects the demands of both Russia and Ukraine, and addresses broader international issues such as food security and global strategic stability.

"It fully recognizes the complexity and difficulty of the issue, and shows China's responsible attitude of not standing idly by, not fueling the fire, and opposing taking advantage of the situation," he wrote.
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US probably heads for recession: Fortune | Updated: 2023-03-23 06:45

FILE PHOTO: Destroyed Silicon Valley Bank logo and US flag is seen in this illustration taken March 13, 2023. [Photo/Agencies]
The US Federal Reserve, its central banking system, has to decide whether to raise interest rates to fight inflation or keep them low to help the economy, but it might be too late to avoid a recession. JPMorgan strategists think that a soft landing is unlikely.

This month, Silicon Valley Bank in the country failed, which was followed by Signature Bank. The US government stepped in to make sure that people with accounts at the two banks didn't lose their money, but other small and regional banks are still in danger.

All this could hurt the country's financial system, making it harder for people to borrow money because of pressure from markets and regulators, according to a Fortune news story published on its website on Tuesday.

JPMorgan analysts think that this could be a "Minsky moment". This is when a long period of growth ends in a big collapse. They think this could happen because of many threats, including banking crises. JPMorgan Chase is the largest bank in the US.

JPMorgan isn't the only bank to lower its predictions for the economy. Goldman Sachs, an American multinational investment bank, also said that the banking crisis could hurt US economic growth. Former US Treasury secretary Larry Summers has warned that the economy could be headed for a sudden crash.

For years, people have been saying that the long period of growth in the US would eventually lead to a big correction. In 2021, British investor Jeremy Grantham said that there was an "epic bubble" in the US economy.
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