BEIJING, July 3 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping on Monday said China-Russia relations are at their "best time in history," and expressed hope the Group of 20 major economies (G20) will continue their support for multilateral free trade and leadership in innovation-driven growth.
Xi made the statement in an interview with Russian media ahead of his departure for the July 3-4 state visit to Russia.
The president travels to Moscow on Monday for a state visit to Russia, which is to be followed by one to Germany, where he will attend the upcoming Hamburg summit of the G20.
HUGE POTENTIAL IN CHINA-RUSSIA COOPERATION
China and Russia have built high-level political and strategic mutual trust, Xi said, noting that China and Russia have completely resolved their border issues left over from history, turning the 4,300-km boundary line into a bond of friendship between the two peoples.
"Our two countries have built a high level of political and strategic trust," Xi said, adding that the two nations are each other's most trustworthy strategic partners.
"I believe the visit will lend new impetus to the growth of bilateral relations," said Xi.
Xi said he and Russian President Vladimir Putin both think China and Russia should deepen economic and trade cooperation so as to reinforce their interests bond and better benefit the two peoples.
"Economic cooperation and trade is the most wide-ranging area in our practical cooperation and enjoys great potential," Xi said, adding that the structure of China-Russia economic cooperation and trade continues to improve and quite a few new areas of growth have emerged.
Xi said growth could be achieved from increased trade of mechanical and electrical and hi-tech products, smooth investment cooperation, deepening financial cooperation, the rapidly growing farm produce trade, the Far East development cooperation on a faster track, and steady progress in strategic cooperation projects and cross-border infrastructure construction.
He also highlighted bilateral efforts underway to boost alignment of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative with the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union, which he said " will help open up broader prospects for bilateral economic cooperation, facilitate trade and investment, create more opportunities for business cooperation, and effectively connect our industries, technologies, capital and markets."
Proposed by Xi in 2013, the Belt and Road Initiative aims to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa on and beyond the ancient Silk Road routes. It comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road.
CHINA'S STANCES ON GLOBAL AND REGIONAL ISSUES
In the interview, Xi touched upon a number of global and regional issues and clarified China's stances and solutions in an effort to safeguard world peace and stability.
Xi pointed out that the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense (THAAD) installation jeopardizes the strategic balance in the region and is unhelpful to denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula and maintaining regional peace and stability.
"China and Russia have maintained close communication and coordination at various levels on this matter. Our two sides have a high degree of agreement in our perceptions of the nature of this issue and the harm it will bring," said the president, reiterating the two countries' firm opposition to the deployment.
The two countries, he said, will take necessary measures, jointly or individually, to safeguard their national security interests and regional strategic balance.
Talking about the Syrian issue, Xi said a political solution offers the only way out.
"China' s position on the issue is consistent. We maintain that the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity of Syria should be upheld and respected, that the future of Syria should be decided by the Syrian people on their own, and that political settlement is the only viable way out," said the president.
Citing positive signs in the Astana meeting in mid-March and the latest progress on the Geneva talks, Xi urged more efforts to maintain the momentum for a political solution to the Syrian issue.
Xi also noted that anti-terrorism cooperation is an important part of the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation, which he said sets an example for the world in that regard.
In bolstering international anti-terrorism cooperation, Xi called for the rejection of double standards and urged the international community to "fully leverage the leading role of the United Nations in the fight against terrorism, and act in concert with strong determination."
Meanwhile, Xi said issues of regional hotspots should be resolved properly "to help restore stability to Syria and other Middle Eastern countries at an early date and contain the rampant spread of terrorism."
The Chinese president also suggested that "a long-term perspective and a multi-pronged approach" be adopted, one that eyes on "political, economic and cultural fronts, with a view to not only addressing the symptoms but also eliminating the hotbed for terrorism."
EXPECTATIONS FOR G20 SUMMIT
Xi told the Russia media that he hopes the G20 will continue to "uphold the spirit of partnership for win-win cooperation," which he said was "the very spirit that steered the G20 through the international financial crisis."
"Global growth continues to gather momentum, as both developed countries and emerging markets show stronger economic performance. However, grave challenges remain. Therefore, it is particularly important for the G20 to play its role as a premier forum for international economic cooperation," he pointed out.
"As long as we accommodate each other and stick together, come rain or shine, we will make steady progress and reach our destination together," the president said, repeating the remarks he gave at the welcoming banquet of last year's G20 summit held in the Chinese city of Hangzhou.
Xi said the G20 "as a pacesetter of the world economy" should stay committed to open development, support the WTO-centered multilateral trading regime, and make sure that trade and investment remain the drivers of global growth.
China expects that the G20 continues to chart the course for innovative growth and long-term governance, Xi said.
"Countries need to unleash new drivers of global growth through innovation. It is important to advance the in-depth development of the digital economy and new industrial revolution, increase investment in infrastructure, and employ fiscal and monetary policies and conduct structural reform to achieve strong, sustainable, balanced and inclusive growth of the world economy," the president said.
China is willing to take the Hamburg Summit as an opportunity to work with all other parties and contribute to global growth and better global economic governance, he added.