MOSCOW, July 31 (Xinhua) -- The past ten years was a "golden decade" for China and Russia's comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era, outgoing Chinese Ambassador to Russia Li Hui has said.
The past decade saw "extraordinarily frequent" mutual visits by Chinese and Russian presidents and other top officials as well as the establishment of cooperation mechanisms at all levels, Li told Xinhua in a recent written interview.
He recalled that the two countries have established the "Yangtze River-Volga River" and "China's Northeast-Russia's Far East" regional cooperation mechanisms and set up relationships between 140 pairs of sister cities and provincial-level regions.
Bilateral trade surged from under 39 billion U.S. dollars in 2009 to a record 107 billion in 2018, Li said, adding that China has been Russia's largest trading partner for nine consecutive years and now represents 15.5 percent of Russia's foreign trade.
The total number of Chinese and Russian students studying in each others' country roughly tripled over the last 10 years to nowadays 90,000, and Russian students can choose Chinese for college entrance exams from 2019, the ambassador said.
He also said that latest polls showed that China now tops a list of friendly countries to Russians, up from the third place in 2009.
"The in-depth alignment of the Belt and Road Initiative and the Eurasian Economic Union will take practical cooperation between the two countries to a higher level with greater development," Li said.
Such cooperation has achieved early harvests, including those in the fields of energy, nuclear power, aviation and aerospace, and cross-border transportation and logistics, he said.
With historical tasks in developing economy, improving people's livelihood, and rejuvenating the state and nation, China and Russia have enormous common interests and are together faced with a string of new threats and new challenges, such as the rise of trade protectionism and hegemony, the turbulence of global energy security, and the threat of terrorism and regional issues, according to Li.
Regardless of the global uncertainties, China and Russia, with vigorous mutual support, solid political trust and firm joint efforts under the strategic guidance of the two heads of state, have achieved win-win cooperation, he noted.
Li underlined that China has profoundly applied its important initiatives of "a community of shared future" and "a new type of international relations" to its ties with Russia.
The initiatives have created favorable conditions for the stable development of the two countries and enabled them to effectively handle various security threats and challenges. China and Russia also jointly safeguard world peace and stability as well as international fairness and justice, contributing to the development of the international order towards a more just and rational direction, he added.
In particular, Li said that as China-Russia relations continue to develop at high levels, more and more Chinese citizens are going to Russia for study, business and travel. Chinese embassy has established an effective consular support mechanism to deal with various issues concerning Chinese citizens.
On the occasion of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relationship between China and Russia, Li said that the two countries have opened a new chapter of "golden age" in their bilateral ties, which will continue to flourish under the strategic leadership of their presidents.
China and Russia are expected to keep working hand in hand for cooperation and common development on the path to prosperity, so as to better benefit the two countries and their peoples as well as to promote world peace and development, the ambassador concluded.