On Saturday, Xi Jinping was re-elected president of China and chairman of the Central Military Commission. Barely two days later, Vladimir Putin secured a fourth term as president of Russia.
Besides exchanging congratulations and praising each other for their achievements as leaders of their respective countries when they talked by phone on Monday, the two leaders spoke highly of China-Russia ties and vowed to further consolidate the all-weather partnership of comprehensive strategic cooperation.
Both agreed that bilateral relations have reached an unprecedented height, and there are bright prospects for developing them further by advancing together hand-in-hand.
Such mutual endorsement at the start of their respective new terms in office certainly adds not only a warm personal touch to the current rapport between the two countries, but also confidence that the two countries have a shared will to consolidate, enrich and upgrade their already close relations.
The two neighbours have good reasons to get closer: not only are they both at a crucial stage of development and rejuvenation, their economies are complementary and there is great potential to be tapped from docking their respective development strategies. Also the less than favourable political trends in the international area call for closer coordination between Beijing and Moscow. Particularly since Washington, despite suffering more in imagination than reality, has openly identified both countries as strategic rivals and potential threats.
The Cold War mindset that characterises the current US administration has found expression in a confrontational and zero-sum approach to major-country relations that goes against the trends of the times. By working together to build a new type of international relations featuring mutual respect, cooperation and all-win results, China and Russia are showing that major-country relations do not have to be defined by winner-take-all competition.
In addition to convincing the US and its allies of the non-threatening, constructive potentials of their increasingly closer partnership, Beijing and Moscow can work together to provide a sense of stability to counter the uncertainty created by the capricious actions of the Trump administration, and help show the benefits of forging a community with a shared future, something that President Xi has urged all countries to strive and build. By continuing to advance their friendly relations, Beijing and Moscow provide an antidote to Washington’s fixation on a