Negotiations, meetings and agreements whose meaning cannot be underestimated
President of Belarus pays state visit to People’s Republic of China
Alexander Lukashenko honours Xi Jinping with the Order ‘For Strengthening Peace and Friendship’
The Chinese are masters of the art of graceful diplomatic language and delicate politesse. It was no accident that, almost a month before Mr. Lukashenko’s visit to Beijing, Xi Jinping delivered warm words to his Belarusian colleague. These were voiced by the Secretary of the Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission of the Communist Party of China, Meng Jianzhu, as he met with the President: ‘President Lukashenko is my closest friend… Among all leaders of the world I can reveal my thoughts only with President Lukashenko…’ after this, journalists had no doubt that an announcement regarding bringing the two countries’ relations to an even higher level would be the result of the Belarusian President’s work in Beijing.
In 2013, the ‘all-round strategic partnership’ was announced between our countries. Our partnership has since moved to an even more trustworthy footing. This is stipulated in the joint declaration, signed by Mr. Lukashenko and Mr. Jinping; its complete title is ‘Declaration on Establishing Relations of Trustful Comprehensive Strategic Partnership and Mutually Beneficial Co-operation’. Thus, external observers now have a clear signal that Belarus in China and China in Belarus are being taken seriously in the long term.
This alliance was confirmed not only by the pragmatism of strategic economic interests. There are issues that can’t be written in the language of diplomatic protocol or measured in dry statistical figures. Our partnership has stood the test of time, ensuring that both Minsk and Beijing trust each other. They conduct sincere dialogue on open topics, in the interests of their nations. Moreover, they see these interests similarly: political and economic interaction at inter-state level which should bring tangible benefits to their people.
Mr. Lukashenko and Mr. Jinping paid considerable attention to political and economic topics, of course. The determination to develop interaction across these areas is also stipulated in the joint declaration: ‘The sides are unanimous that trade-economic, investment and financial co-operation is a motivating power of Belarusian-Chinese relations. The two sides will take measures aimed at shaping mutual benefit and joint profit, which is described by multi-dimensional, large-scale and multi-level collaboration’.
All necessary conditions have been created to implement these approaches. At present, these tasks are seen not as goals in themselves, but rather as a consequence of even deeper joint aspirations. The document encapsulates this thought in the unusual declaration that Minsk and Beijing have agreed ‘to develop an all-weather friendship, to create a community of common interests and a community of single friendship…’
In this respect we should pay attention to one significant aspect: China has established a level of comprehensive strategic partnership with around two dozen states. Belarusian-Chinese relations have grown in less than three years. The People’s Republic of China has a higher, special status of interaction with just a few countries. Experts believe these include the UK, Russia and Pakistan. Now, our country has also joined this club. Comparing sizes and the degree of influence of China and its closest friends, one understands that such membership is highly symbolic.
Concrete areas for the development of collaboration are stipulated in a package of agreements and memorandums, signed in the presence of the heads of state. Completing official talks in an expanded format, Mr. Lukashenko and Mr. Jinping communicated privately for some time. The personal leanings of the two heads of state and their will to develop rapprochement between our two nations have led to the current level of partnership. The President of Belarus and the President of China were publicly speaking of this while thanking each other for their support of mutually beneficial initiatives.
Mr. Lukashenko also awarded Mr. Jinping the Order ‘For Strengthening Peace and Friendship’. In this way Belarus marked the considerable personal contribution of the Chinese President to the development of trade-economic, sci-tech and humanitarian ties between Belarus and China, as well as exceptional merit in strengthening friendly relations and collaboration between the states. This is a new award bestowed for the first time.
The Minsk-Beijing train of partnership and trust continues to gain momentum.
On his last day in Beijing, Alexander Lukashenko met the Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China, Li Keqiang. He spoke to students of the Beijing University and laid a wreath at the Monument to the People’s Heroes before departing.
Of course, the state visit was intensive and fruitful. However, fulfilment of the decisions, adopted at the top level, will require even greater efforts. The President spoke about the spirit of Belarusian-Chinese friendship, the world role of the People’s Republic of China, Minsk’s view on agricultural problems and other topics, with students of the Beijing University. You can form your own opinions by reading the published text of his speech.
Intensive meetings in Beijing
Extract from Belarusian President’s speech on meeting Beijing University students
... Our country stands for the undisputed supremacy of law in international relations, which should be based on the current fair and multipolar world order. This is the basis of the international agenda, and both China and Belarus similarly realise this agenda. Only a multi-polar world can save our planet from destruction. The more these supports are put in place, the more powerful it will make the system. Yesterday, I told my friend Xi Jinping that one of the pillars of the multipolarity and stability of our system is the People’s Republic of China. We are keen to support this relationship. We believe that a strong and powerful China will be an asset to a sovereign and independent Belarus. This is because the country is our friend, on whose shoulders we can always rely. Belarus is a state which has subordinated its foreign policy to pragmatic and clear goals; a key part of which is to increase the well-being and living standards of our people. Ensuring the country’s security and neighbourliness at our borders is also vital.
Congratulations on an important date
President of Belarus, Alexander Lukashenko, sends greetings to Chinese President Xi Jinping as the country celebrates its National Day
The message of greetings reads that the exemplary organisation and good results of the G20 Summit in Hangzhou have become another testimony to the fact that China makes a huge contribution to the harmonious and innovative development of the global community. “I recall our talk in Tashkent in June 2016 with great pleasure, and the warm welcome for the Belarusian delegation during the recent state visit to Beijing. Thanks to your personal attention to the comprehensive strengthening of partnership between Belarus and China this visit was very productive,” said the Head of State. In the run-up to the 25th anniversary of diplomatic relations, the President of Belarus praised a colossal breakthrough in co-operation between the two countries, made within a short period of time. Mr. Lukashenko is convinced that further rapprochement between Minsk and Beijing is the right course.
By Dmitry Kryat