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China, Russia agree to uphold multilateralism

Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi (second right) meets with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov (second left) in Rome, Italy, Oct 30, 2021. (JIN MAMENGNI / XINHUA)

ROME – China is ready to work with Russia to uphold multilateralism and oppose "small circles," "false democracy" and "new Cold War," Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi said here Saturday while meeting with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov.

Wang recalled the intensive contacts between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, and their participation in diplomatic events hosted by the other side via video link in the last two months.

China is willing to work with Russia, under the guidance of head-to-state diplomacy, to make good preparations for high-level exchanges in the next stage, so as to push for greater development of bilateral relations, Foreign Minister Wang Yi said

Such activities fully demonstrated the two countries' support for each other and effectively promoted their pragmatic cooperation, and actively led major international agendas, Wang said.

China is willing to work with Russia, under the guidance of head-to-state diplomacy, to make good preparations for high-level exchanges in the next stage, so as to push for greater development of bilateral relations, he said.

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China highly values President Putin's remarks that China is Russia's most reliable comprehensive strategic partner of coordination, Wang said, adding that China is willing to work with Russia to promote the building of a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind, uphold multilateralism and oppose "small circles," "false democracy" and "new Cold War."

For his part, Lavrov said the recent frequent interactions between the two heads of state have pushed Russia-China relations to a historic new high.

Russia is willing to work with China to actively implement the consensuses reached by the two heads of state, make good preparations for the meetings between the two leaders and regular meetings between the heads of government, so as to achieve more results in cooperation in various fields, Lavrov said.

The two sides agreed to better coordinate anti-COVID-19 measures, curb the cross-border spread of the pandemic, and provide convenience for personnel exchanges and trade amid regular efforts to prevent and control the disease.

The two sides agreed to strengthen communication and coordination under such multilateral frameworks as the United Nations and the Group of 20 (G20), and jointly safeguard the norms of international relations and the legitimate rights and interests of the two countries.

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The two sides agreed to take China's presidency of the emerging-market bloc of BRICS that groups Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa next year as an opportunity to further deepen BRICS cooperation.

The two sides agreed to carry out cooperation between China and the Collective Security Treaty Organization, strengthen communication and coordination on issues such as Afghanistan and the Iran nuclear deal, so as to jointly safeguard regional security and stability.

The two sides expressed grave concerns over the establishment of a trilateral security partnership of AUKUS among the United States, Britain and Australia and their cooperation on nuclear submarines.

The two sides said that AUKUS is a typical military group, and the attempt of the three countries to forge a "small circle" is unpopular and doomed to fail because it is against the trend of times featuring peace, cooperation and development.

Commenting on the so-called Leaders' Summit for Democracy, the two sides said that they will make clear their positions and expound correct views on democracy, development and human rights to the international community.

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Democracy is a common value of mankind and a right of people in all countries, rather than an exclusive privilege of a few, Wang said.

Forcing other countries to accept a unilaterally recognized so-called "democracy" will only lead to even more problems, he noted.

It is a typical move against democracy to label other countries as "authoritarian" just because they choose different paths to achieve democracy, Wang stressed.

The two sides also agreed to maintain strategic communication, assess bilateral cooperation in a timely manner, as well as coordinate each other's positions and joint actions.