On October 3rd, Russian President Vladimir Putin spoke at the plenary meeting of the Valdai Discussion Club.
The Valdai Discussion Club is a Russian-based think tank and discussion forum that was established in 2004. The Valdai conference is closely linked with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who has met with the participants of the Valdai Club’s annual meetings every year since its founding.
This year was no exception. The annual meeting this year took place between September 30th and October 3rd.
Notably, Putin spoke about Russian-Chinese cooperation. He said that Moscow was helping Beijing build a missile defense system.
“We are now helping our Chinese partners to create a missile attack warning system. This is a very serious thing that will fundamentally and dramatically increase the defenses of the People’s Republic of China, because now only the United States and Russia have such a system,” Putin said.
His statement signaled a new degree of defense cooperation between the two countries. This is further evidence of the rapidly improving relations between Russia and China, while the US tries to oppose both of them in various fields of interest.
Furthermore, Russia and China will continue to cooperate in space and military-technical cooperation (MTC).
“We will continue to work in the field of space, in the field of military-technical cooperation,” Putin said.
In terms of economy, Putin said that Russia and China were ramping up cooperation regarding Beijing’s One Belt One Road initiative.
“One of the pillars of the Greater Eurasia is to be the pairing of the Eurasian Economic Union project and the Chinese initiative One Belt One Road. We agreed with our Chinese friends to intensify this work,” Putin said.
According to him, it is precisely guided by the principles of joint, common progress that the Eurasian Economic Union is being built together with partners.
“This integration association is based on equality, pragmatism, taking into account each other’s interests. Moreover, our union is not a closed market. EurAsEC is actively developing international relations,” he added.
“Free trade zone agreements have been concluded with Vietnam, just recently, just the other day, we have signed the same agreement with Singapore. An interim free trade zone agreement has been signed with Iran, negotiations are underway with Israel, Egypt. Soon, the first round of negotiations with India. The Eurasian Union signed an agreement on trade and economic cooperation with China,” the Russian president explained. Essentially, Putin said that by improving relations with China, in turn, possibilities for a free trade integration of the entire region are possible.
In addition, he noted that the implementation of the cooperation program between the Eurasian Commission and ASEAN for 2019-2020 has also started.
“All these agreements are important for the formation of the Greater Eurasian Partnership with the potential participation of the EurAsEC, CIS, SCO, ASEAN and a number of other states. Building this type of relationship between states based on pragmatism, taking into account each other’s interests is not good wishes and dreams, not a question of the distant future, it is possible and, moreover, is being implemented now,” Putin emphasized.
Finally, Putin said he believed that China was impossible to contain or restraint, and those who try to do so will simply harm themselves.
“Regarding the attempts to restrain China: I think that by definition it is impossible. And if someone makes such attempts, he, the one who will do it, will understand that it is impossible. And during these attempts, of course, will cause damage and damage to oneself,” Putin said.
“In any case, I consider such a development of events to be destructive and harmful, and joining efforts to create an environment of friendly cooperation and finding common security systems for all is what we should aim towards together,” he added.
Just two weeks earlier, on September 17th, The Ministry of Economic Development of the Russian Federation and the Ministry of Commerce of the Peoples Republic of China, following the 24th regular meeting of the heads of government of the Russian Federation and China, signed a joint statement on the development of a roadmap for the high-quality development of Russian-Chinese trade in goods and services by 2024.
In addition, a memorandum of understanding was signed on the issue of further strengthening cooperation and information exchange in the scientific and humanitarian fields between the Russian Union of Scientific and Engineering Public Associations and the All-China Federation for Science and Technology.
Russia and China are building quite the strong relationship, in most if not in all fields. The US, at this point is barely keeping up with them, attempting to antagonize both.