III. China's Relations with Other Major Asia-Pacific Countries
1. China-US Relations
Since 2015 the overall relationship between China and the United States has remained stable and even made new progress. The two countries have maintained close contacts at the leadership and other levels. President Xi Jinping paid a state visit to the US at the invitation of President Barack Obama in September 2015, and met him again during the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in November of the same year. In late March 2016 the two presidents had a successful meeting during the Nuclear Security Summit in Washington. In September they met again during the G20 Hangzhou Summit, and committed themselves to building a new model of a major-country relationship. Premier Li Keqiang met President Obama when attending high-level meetings of the 71st Session of the UN General Assembly. In June the same year the Eighth Round of the China-US Strategic and Economic Dialogue, the Seventh China-US High-Level Consultation on People-to-People Exchanges, and the Second China-US High-Level Joint Dialogue on Cybercrime and Related Issues were held in Beijing, and achieved fruitful results. In addition, the two countries have made steady progress in practical cooperation in various fields, and maintained close communication and coordination on major regional and global issues like climate change, the Korean and Iranian nuclear issues, Syria, and Afghanistan.
The two countries have maintained communication and coordination in the field of Asia-Pacific affairs through bilateral exchanges and relevant mechanisms at all levels, and agreed to build a bilateral relationship of positive interaction and inclusive cooperation in the region. The two countries have stayed in a state of communication and cooperation on regional and global affairs, including climate change, counter-terrorism, marine environmental protection, combating wild life smuggling, and disaster prevention and reduction within multilateral frameworks such as APEC, East Asia Summit (EAS), and ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF). Moreover, the two sides have smoothly carried out trilateral personnel and agriculture training cooperation projects in Afghanistan and Timor-Leste.
China-US military relations have generally maintained a momentum of steady progress. Since 2015 the two militaries have continued to improve their two mutual-confidence-building mechanisms: the Mutual Notification of Major Military Activities and the Rules of Behavior for the Safety of Air and Maritime Encounters. In 2015 they held their Joint Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster-Relief Field Exercise and Disaster Management Exchanges in China and the US, respectively, and participated in Khaan Quest 2015 multinational peacekeeping military exercise and Exercise Kowari, a China-US-Australia trilateral military exercise. In January 2016 a working meeting of officials from the two ministries of defence was held in Beijing, and in May a video conference was held between the Chinese Chief of the Department of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the Central Military Commission and the US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. From late June to early August 2016, Chinese Navy Fleet 153 participated in RIMPAC 2016, a joint military exercise in Hawaii. In July and August the same year, the US Chief of Naval Operations and Chief of Staff of the Army each made a visit to China.
China is willing to promote the sustainable, sound and stable advance of bilateral relations, and work with the new US administration to follow the principles of no conflict, no confrontation, mutual respect and mutually beneficial cooperation, increase cooperation in bilateral, regional and global affairs, manage and control divergences in a constructive way, and further bilateral relations from a new starting point, so as to bring benefits to the two peoples and other peoples around the world.
2. China-Russia Relations
China and Russia are each other's biggest neighbor, and strategic partner of cooperation and priority in diplomacy. Over the years, China-Russia relations have gained healthy, stable and fast development, and made new achievements through joint efforts. In 2001 the two countries signed the Good-Neighborly Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation, which established the idea of a lasting friendship in legal form. In 2011 the bilateral relationship was upgraded to a comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination based on equality, mutual trust, mutual support, common prosperity and lasting friendship. In 2014 the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination entered a new stage.
This partnership has presented a more positive momentum of development at a high level. President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin have met frequently. During the latter's visit to China in June 2016 the two sides signed three joint statements: the Joint Statement by the People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation, Joint Statement by the People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation on Strengthening Global Strategic Stability, and Joint Statement by the People's Republic of China and the Russian Federation on Cooperation in Information Cyberspace Development. In September that year the two heads of state met for the third time, during the G20 Hangzhou Summit, and agreed to increase their firm mutual support on issues concerning each other's core interests, energetically promote the idea of a lasting friendship established in the Good-Neighborly Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation, actively promote their development strategies and their efforts to promote the Belt and Road Initiative and Eurasian Economic Union, hold a Year of Media Exchange, and maintain close coordination and cooperation in international and regional affairs, so as to inject strong vigor into bilateral relations.
China and Russia have maintained good cooperation in Asia-Pacific affairs. The two sides continue to strengthen their cooperation within regional multilateral frameworks, safeguard the purposes and principles of the Charter of the United Nations and universally recognized norms governing international relations, uphold the achievements of World War II and international justice, advance the process of a political solution to regional hotspot issues, and contribute more positive energy to regional peace, stability, development and prosperity.
China-Russia military relations have made further progress. In 2015 the two militaries jointly commemorated the 70th anniversary of the victory of the World Anti-Fascist War, and sent high-ranking officers and teams to each other's commemoration activities and military parades. The two militaries successfully held joint maritime drills twice in a year for the first time. China participated in all events of the international military skill competition hosted by Russia, and the first Chinese Military Culture Week was held in Russia. In 2016 the two militaries maintained positive interaction. The First Joint Computer-Enabled Anti-Missile Defence Exercise was held. China participated in the international military games in Russia and Kazakhstan. In September China and Russia conducted the Maritime Joint Exercise 2016. The two militaries have also maintained close coordination within the defence and security cooperation framework of the SCO.
3. China-India Relations
Since 2015 the China-India strategic and cooperative partnership for peace and prosperity has been further deepened. The two countries have set the goal of forging a closer development partnership, made new progress in exchanges and cooperation in various areas and stayed in close communication and coordination on regional and international issues.
The two countries have held frequent exchanges of high-level visits, and enhanced political mutual trust. President Xi Jinping met Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the Seventh BRICS Summit in Ufa in July 2015, the 16th SCO Summit in Tashkent in June 2016, the G20 Hangzhou Summit in September 2016, and the Eighth BRICS Summit in October 2016. In November 2015 Premier Li Keqiang met Indian Prime Minister Modi during the leaders' meetings for East Asia cooperation in Malaysia. Indian President Pranab Mukherjee visited China in May 2016, and Prime Minister Narendra Modi visited China in May 2015. Practical cooperation between the two countries has made solid progress in various areas. The two countries have maintained communication and coordination on international affairs and enhanced collaboration in the UN, BRICS, G20, China-India-Russia and other mechanisms. They have cooperated on climate change, the WTO Doha Round of negotiations, energy and food security, reform of international financial and monetary institutions, and global governance. Such cooperation has helped safeguard the common interests of China, India and other developing countries.
The relations between the Chinese and Indian militaries remain healthy and stable in general, with increasingly close communication and exchanges, and pragmatic cooperation in greater breadth and depth. Eight rounds of defence and security consultation and six joint military anti-terrorism training exercises have been held so far. Sound cooperation in personnel training, professional exchanges and other fields is being carried out. The two sides have also conducted border defence cooperation, which plays a positive role in maintaining peace and tranquillity in the border areas between China and India. Military leaders of the two sides visited each other in 2015 and 2016, and reached an important consensus on strengthening pragmatic cooperation between the two militaries and working together to maintain peace and stability in the border areas.
4. China-Japan Relations
Since 2015 China-Japan relations have maintained the momentum of improvement which started at the end of 2014. Upon invitation, President Xi Jinping met Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe on the margins of the APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting and the Asian-African Summit. He attended and gave an important speech at the China-Japan Friendship Exchange Meeting. Premier Li Keqiang met Prime Minister Abe during the China-Japan-ROK Trilateral Summit Meeting in 2015 and during the Asia-Europe Meeting in 2016. During the G20 Hangzhou Summit in September 2016 President Xi Jinping had another meeting with Prime Minister Abe. The two sides resumed contacts at government, parliament and party levels in an orderly way. Three rounds of high-level political dialogue were held and exchanges and cooperation in various areas were steadily pushed forward. However, complex and sensitive factors still remain in bilateral relations. In response to Japan's negative moves concerning historical and maritime territory issues, China urges Japan to abide by the four political documents and the four-point principled agreement on bilateral relations, properly manage and control disputes and conflicts, and avoid creating obstacles to the improvement of bilateral relations.
Since the end of 2014 defence exchanges between the two countries have gradually resumed and developed. In November 2015 the Chinese and Japanese defence ministers met during the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting. The defence chiefs of the two countries have met several times on other multilateral occasions. In 2016 the defence ministries of the two countries conducted working-level exchanges. Since 2015, defence ministries of the two countries have held two expert panel consultations on the establishment of air and maritime contact mechanisms, with consensus reached on most matters.
5. China has continued developing friendly and cooperative relations with other countries in the Asia-Pacific region, with enhanced political mutual trust, strengthened economic and trade relations, closer people-to-people and cultural exchanges, and enlarged defence cooperation, so as to jointly promote peace, stability, development and prosperity in the Asia-Pacific region.