China, Belarus improve bilateral ties to boost bilateral cooperation, regional stability and prosperity amid ‘unilateral sanctions and threat of outside interference’

Chinese President Xi Jinping meets with Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko at the Forumlar Majmuasi complex in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, September 15, 2022.

China and Belarus agreed on Thursday to upgrade their bilateral ties into a comprehensive all-weather strategic partnership, following a meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Belarusian President Alexander Lukashenko on the sidelines of the 22nd meeting of the Council of heads of state of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. (SCO) in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.

Belarus becomes China’s second all-weather strategic partner, after Pakistan which has been China’s all-weather strategic cooperative partner since 2015.

The 22nd meeting of the Council of Heads of State of the SCO on Friday launched the process of admitting Belarus to the SCO as a member. As an SCO observer state, Belarus had previously submitted an official application to become a full member.

Chinese analysts said the upgrade of China-Belarus relations followed 30 years of deep bilateral cooperation in various fields, including economic, trade and political engagement, and deepened mutual trust, and that the historic leap in bilateral relations set a strong example for state-to-state relations amid unilateral sanctions and block confrontation sparked by the United States and also brought stability to Central Asia and Eastern Europe. East who face the challenges of an economic downturn and the threat of a “color revolution”.

The two countries issued a joint statement indicating that the two sides respect and support the development paths and domestic and foreign policies chosen by each other, and firmly support each other on issues concerning their respective core interests, including the sovereignty, independence and territorial integrity.

Reiterating its adherence to the one-China principle, Belarus recognizes that the government of the People’s Republic of China is the sole legal government representing the whole of China and that Taiwan is an inalienable part of Chinese territory, opposes any form of “Taiwan independence,” and supports all efforts by the Chinese government for national reunification.

China praises Belarus’ development achievements, supports Belarus’ efforts to achieve political and social stability and economic development, and opposes interference by external forces in Belarus’ internal affairs for any reason. reason whatsoever, according to the statement.

The two sides will deepen the high-quality Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and continue to advance the implementation of the economic and trade cooperation agreement between the People’s Republic of China and the Eurasian Economic Union. .

Zhao Huirong, an expert in Eastern European studies from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times that Belarus was seen as an all-weather strategic partner after Pakistan, reflecting how relations Sino-Belarusians have maintained high-level mutual trust and cooperation over several decades.

She said the importance of all-weather strategic partnership also lies in the fact that countries of different sizes can maintain equal and cooperative relations and achieve common development, and China-Belarus relations are a outstanding example for international relations and serve as a model for a new kind of state-to-state engagement.

Belarus has actively participated in the BRI, the Sino-Belarusian Industrial Park being a successful and pragmatic major project, and the two countries have supported each other in their core political interests and shared similar views on regional and international issues. , Yang Jin, a research associate at the Institute of Russian, Eastern European and Central Asian Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told the Global Times.

The joint statement lays out a clear plan for bilateral cooperation in various fields, offers guidelines and direction for future cooperation that could help improve bilateral practical cooperation and bring more benefits to the two peoples, Zhao said.

Yang pointed out that the historic leap in China-Belarusian relations not only serves the development of the two countries, but also serves regional stability and prosperity, as Central Asia and Eastern Europe have been in plagued by the economic situation caused by COVID-19 and the West’s unilateral sanctions as well as the threat of interference from outside forces.

Belarus has been engulfed in mass protests after President Alexander Lukashenko won a sixth term in August 2020, with the opposition refusing to acknowledge the results. The Chinese Foreign Ministry expressed its firm stance on respecting the development path chosen by the Belarusian people in accordance with their national conditions and opposing external forces that create divisions and instability in the country.

The statement said the two sides will carry out production capacity cooperation and promote the establishment of joint ventures in machinery manufacturing, automobile and electric vehicle assembly, agricultural production, energy and biotechnology in the two countries.

They also agreed that food security is one of the key areas for bilateral cooperation. From now on, they will work to promote the production and processing of agricultural products and to strengthen the supply capacity of quality foodstuffs.

The two sides will make joint efforts to make the Sino-Belarusian industrial park an international cooperation project and a satellite city of Minsk. Both sides believe that attracting investment and promoting traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) will further promote the development of the industrial park.

The two sides will further expand practical cooperation in various fields between the two armies, including exchanging high-level and expert delegations and conducting joint military training, according to the statement.

China and Belarus expressed their deep concern over the increasingly complex international and regional security situation and pledged to pay close attention to challenges that threaten strategic stability, undermine the arms control system and fuel a arms race.

Both sides oppose politicization and the application of double standards on the issue of human rights, and oppose interference in the internal affairs of other countries in the name of human rights. man, according to the statement.

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