BEIJING, Jan. 11 (Xinhua) -- Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi on Monday held a phone conversation with Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov on bilateral ties and the situation in Kazakhstan.
Wang said that the past year of 2021 saw vigorous and determined strides in China-Russia relations featuring multiple highlights.
President Xi Jinping and President Vladimir Putin maintained close contacts, setting the tone for the development of bilateral ties, steering the course for major international agendas, and jointly starting a new journey of China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era, Wang said.
In the new year, China will steadfastly deepen strategic coordination "back to back" with Russia, safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of both sides, as well as world peace and stability, Wang said.
Putin's planned visit to China and his attendance at the opening ceremony of the Beijing Winter Olympics will not only be the first in-person meeting between the two countries' heads of state in nearly two years, but also a major event in international relations at the start of this year, Wang said.
China is ready to strengthen coordination with Russia to ensure the complete success and fruitful results of the "get-together for the Winter Olympics" and "meeting in the Spring Festival" between the two countries' heads of state, Wang said.
Lavrov said he fully agrees with China's views and that he will communicate closely with the Chinese side and make preparations together. He believed that Putin's visit to China and the Beijing Winter Olympics will be a complete success.
On the situation in Kazakhstan, Lavrov briefed Wang on the assessment of the situation during a special session of the Collective Security Treaty Organization (CSTO), saying that mounting information clearly showed that the current chaos in Kazakhstan are riots meticulously plotted by external forces -- a view shared by Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev himself and the Kazakh side.
At the request of Kazakhstan, the CSTO has dispatched peacekeeping troops to take action, and the situation in Kazakhstan has improved significantly, Lavrov added.
Wang stressed that Xi has sent a verbal message to Tokayev, publicly expressing China's firm opposition to any attempt by external forces to provoke unrest and instigate "color revolutions" in Kazakhstan.
The Chinese side agrees with Tokayev's assessment on the nature of the riots in Kazakhstan, and supports the CSTO in helping Kazakhstan fight violent terrorist forces and playing a positive role in restoring stability in Kazakhstan on the premise of respecting Kazakhstan's sovereignty, Wang said.
China and Russia, as permanent members of the United Nations Security Council and friendly neighbors of Central Asian countries, must prevent chaos or war from erupting in Central Asia, Wang said.
The two sides should continuously deepen coordination and cooperation, oppose external forces interfering in the internal affairs of Central Asian countries, and prevent "color revolutions" and insurrections by the three forces of terrorism, separatism and extremism, he said.
The two sides should give full play to their respective strengths, help Central Asian countries fight the pandemic, develop their economies, and strive to eliminate the breeding ground of turmoil in the society, Wang added, also suggesting the two sides support the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the CSTO to strengthen coordination and cooperation, so as to jointly and effectively address various challenges to regional security. ■