The annual international conference "Russia and China" started in Beijing on 29 May 2018. The main theme is cooperation between the two countries in a new era.
Organised by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and the Russian International Affairs Council, the conference is being attended by prominent statesmen, diplomats, scholars, public figures, and representatives of the Russian and Chinese media.
SCO Secretary-General Rashid Alimov addressed the conferees at the opening ceremony.
"As two close neighbours with a 400-year history of mutual relations, Russia and China have made an invaluable contribution to an atmosphere of trust and mutually beneficial cooperation in the SCO region and laid the foundations for an equal and respectful interstate and regional dialogue," Mr Alimov said in his remarks at the opening ceremony, adding that "it is largely thanks to Russian and Chinese efforts, in close cooperation with Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, that an organisation of a new type was created at the dawn of a new millennium, an organisation boasting a system of relations in the region that makes it possible to organise interstate cooperation regardless of a state's capabilities, potential, economic might, population, or the strength of its armed forces."
Mr Alimov emphasised both countries' global role: "Today, the two great powers, permanent members of the UN Security Council, are key international players that propose a positive international agenda in the interests of the entire world community and actively influence the dynamics of global processes," he said, stressing that "the world sees in Russia and China, which firmly and consistently defend the standards and principles of international law, reliable support in the complex process of realising a multipolar world order."
According to Mr Alimov, the accession of India and Pakistan has brought the number of SCO nuclear powers to four, or a half of the world's nuclear club. With this, the SCO has acquired a global profile while the constructive agenda outlined in its Development Strategy to 2025 is designed to achieve common benefits in the course of cooperative development and at forming a just and equitable world order.
Noting the SCO's growing responsibility for a safe and stable future and the sustained joint development in the vast Eurasian space, he expressed confidence that the "Chinese and Russian contribution to the strengthening of long-term neighbourliness, friendship and cooperation within the SCO and to the joint response to modern threats and challenges will invariably increase."
The "Russia and China" international conference has become an important annual forum for discussing issues of Russian-Chinese strategic partnership and cooperation, a forum attended by politicians, diplomats, experts, scholars, and media representatives. The conference is composed of plenary sessions on specific aspects of Russian-Chinese engagement, including in the context of developments in the region and the world.
The opening ceremony was addressed by former member of the PRC State Council and Chinese Chair of the Chinese-Russian Committee of Friendship, Peace and Development Dai Bingguo, Deputy Foreign Minister of Russia Igor Morgulov, President of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences and President of the Council for Strategic Interaction of China and Russia Xie Fuzhan, President of the Russian International Affairs Council (RIAC) Igor Ivanov, Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs of China Zhang Hanhui, Member of the Standing Committee and Director of the Propaganda Section of the CPC Committee in Fujian Province Liang Jianyouwun, Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of Russia in the PRC Andrei Denisov, and Senior Councilor of the China-Russia Friendship Society Li Dongdong.
The overall number of participants has exceeded 300. The conference is being held in Beijing on 29-30 May 2018.