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June 1, 2021 marked the beginning of the 6th International Conference “Russia and China: Cooperation in a New Era”. Amidst the pandemic the conference was held remotely via videoconference between Russia and China.

The Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) cohosted the event under the Memorandum of Cooperation of June 25, 2016 signed in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping.

This year the event celebrated the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Good-neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation between Russia and China, which laid the foundation for a new type of relationship between the two states. To mark such a cornerstone for the bilateral relations RIAC and CASS prepared a collection of articles by prominent politicians, diplomats and experts from the two countries and presented it at the conference.

Sergey Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister, Chairman of RIAC Board of Trustees, Wang Yi, PRC Foreign Minister, PRC State Councilor, Igor Ivanov, RIAC President, Russian Foreign Minister (1998–2004), and Xie Fuzhan, CASS President, delivered opening remarks.

June 1, 2021 marked the beginning of the 6th International Conference “Russia and China: Cooperation in a New Era”. Amidst the pandemic the conference was held remotely via videoconference between Russia and China.

The Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) and the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS) cohosted the event under the Memorandum of Cooperation of June 25, 2016 signed in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin and the President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping.

This year the event celebrated the 20th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Good-neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation between Russia and China, which laid the foundation for a new type of relationship between the two states. To mark such a cornerstone for the bilateral relations RIAC and CASS prepared a collection of articles by prominent politicians, diplomats and experts from the two countries and presented it at the conference.

Sergey Lavrov, Russian Foreign Minister, Chairman of RIAC Board of Trustees, Wang Yi, PRC Foreign Minister, PRC State Councilor, Igor Ivanov, RIAC President, Russian Foreign Minister (1998–2004), and Xie Fuzhan, CASS President, delivered opening remarks.

“Common prosperity is a main principle of our relations, with bilateral trade having grown from $8 bn to more than $100 bn by 2020. Energy resources, aviation and space exploration have become indispensable parts of cooperation. The number of projects is growing and the interests are getting increasingly intertwined. Russia-China friendship should remain a tradition while the shared border of 4300 km is now a border of friendship…”,—Wang Yi said.

Xie Fuzhan, CASS President, stated: “[Russia and China], joining hands, are able to facilitate the creation of a new world order amidst changing realities. <…> Responsible actors, China and Russia support the ideas of peaceful growth, aim at creating a fair world order. Sooner or later, the sea will calm down and the most important for the parties here is to set the sales.”

The first day included two plenary sessions—"20th Anniversary of the Signing of the Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation between Russia and China" and "Russia and China: an Example of Relations of Great Powers of a New Type".

During the first session, Russian and Chinese statesmen and diplomats emphasized the historical significance of the Treaty and analyzed its basic principles that once created the foundation for Russia-China relations today. As Igor Morgulov, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia and RIAC Member, noted, "Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation opened a new century of relations between our countries—both literally and figuratively."

Particular attention was paid to promising areas of bilateral cooperation, that will bring partnership to a new level. "[Russia noted] certain features in China, that we had been looking for in a partnership: respectability, consistency, predictability," said Ivan Melnikov, Chairman of the Russian-Chinese Friendship Society, First Deputy Chairman of the State Duma.

“Continuous stimulation and enhancement of political trust, <…> strategic coordination—is the best and main method to withstand Western pressure…”,—noted Li Huilai, Vice President of the Chinese People's Institute of Foreign Affairs (CPIFA).

The discussion also focused on regional cooperation between the Russian Federation and the PRC, including the linking of the EAEU and the Belt and Road Initiative and contacts within the SCO platform, as well as relations between Russia and China with third countries. Andrey Kortunov, RIAC Director General, noted that Russia is not interested in Sino-American confrontation, on the contrary, improving relations between Beijing and Washington could create additional opportunities for cooperation between the three countries.

The first day of the conference was also attended by Konstantin Kosachev, Deputy Speaker of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, RIAC Member; Andrey Denisov, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Russia to China, RIAC Member; Zhang Hanhui, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the People’s Republic of China to the Russian Federation; Boris Titov, Presidential Commissioner of Russia for the Protection of Entrepreneurs’ Rights, Chairman of the Russia-China Committee of Friendship, Peace and Development, RIAC Member; Li Hui, Special Representative of the Chinese Government on Eurasian Affairs; Lin Songtian, President of the Chinese People's Association for Friendship with Foreign Countries; Alexey Maslov, Acting Director of the Institute of Far Eastern Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, RIAC Member; Zhou Li, former Deputy Head of the International Liaison Department of the Communist Party of China; Xing Guangcheng, CASS Presidium Member, Director of the Institute of Chinese Borderland Studies at CASS; Sergey Karaganov, Dean, Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs of the National Research University Higher School of Economics, RIAC Member; Vladimir Norov, SCO Secretary General; Mikhail Konarovsky, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation. Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of International Research, MGIMO University, RIAC Member; Sergey Luzyanin, Professor, Higher School of Economics and MGIMO University, RIAC Member; Gleb Ivashentsov, RIAC Vice President, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the Russian Federation; Sun Zhuangzhi, Director of the CASS Institute of Russian, Eastern European and Central Asian Studies; Zhao Jianying, President of the China Social Sciences Press Publishing House; Xu Bu, President of China Institute of International Studies; and Li Xiangyang, Director of the National Institute of International Strategy, CASS.

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  1. In your opinion, what are the US long-term goals for Russia?
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