BEIJING (CHINA DAILY/ASIA NEWS NETWORK) - President Xi Jinping will pay a state visit to Russia early next month, and attend the 23rd St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
Officially, the visit is meant to "tamp the political foundation" of China-Russia relations, ascertain greater mutual support on core interests as well as matters of common and mutual concern, make sure the relationship stays elements-proof in the capricious international climate, and open up brighter prospects for pragmatic cooperation "in all realms".
But that certainly will not be the sole reason for the coming visit to attract third-party attention.
Indeed, it does matter how these two sizeable neighbours position and orient their relationship in a less-than-friendly international environment, which Beijing has described as a time of "great changes not seen in a hundred years".
Beijing's and Moscow's respective uneasy relations with Washington have inspired rich imaginings regarding the prospects for the tricky trilateral relationship.
Not a few are hoping to find clues for a new round of dramatic interactions among the three.
But what defined those relations in the past may not apply today.
As the Chinese Foreign Ministry stated, China-Russia relations have grown increasingly "mature, stable and resilient".
They know where each other's core interests lie and have been treating each other with due respect.
Beijing and Moscow are not allies, and they do not seek an alliance, even as they are both under pressure from Washington.
But that does not mean they will not lend support to each other in their opposition to the rising protectionist, unilateralist tendencies Washington has displayed.
As permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, China and Russia carry on their shoulders inescapable responsibilities for preserving the world order, with the UN and corresponding international laws and rules at the centre.
In his speech at the St. Petersburg event, President Xi is expected to reiterate Beijing's appeal for multilateralism, better global governance, and sustainable common prosperity.
Beijing and Moscow have cooperated closely recently on major international concerns, and stood firm behind the international order based on the UN Charter.
Their continuous commitment to the peaceful resolution of such global concerns as the Iran nuclear deal, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea nuclear issue, as well as the internal strife in Venezuela is essential to regional and world peace.
They will be able to make greater contributions to global governance if they can engage in closer, more effective policy coordination.
Xi's coming visit will surely be conducive to that.
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