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On the sidelines of the recent Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) foreign ministers’ meeting in Moscow on September 12, 2020, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, issued a joint statement hailing the Sino-Russian “comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership.”1 While containing a boilerplate restatement of the two parties’ commitment to a multipolar world order based on “the principles of sovereign equality and non-interference in internal affairs,” the joint statement also noted that both sides “reaffirmed their commitment to advancing the ‘Belt and Road Initiative’ and the ‘Greater Eurasian Partnership’ in parallel and coordinated development” in order to enhance “regional connectivity and economic development in Eurasia.”2 After attending the SCO meeting Wang Yi then met with Kazakh president Kassym-Jomart Tokayev in Nur-Sultan on September 12. In the Kazakh capital, Wang noted not only that China “would never forget” that the BRI began in Kazakhstan during Xi’s September 2013 visit to the country but that “Kazakhstan is the most important strategic partner in the region” for Beijing.3

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