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Xi's visit to shore up Russia ties

By CAO DESHENG in Beijing and REN QI in Moscow | China Daily | Updated: 2019-06-05 17:15

Ambassador: Bilateral cooperation to pick up steam in major projects and emerging areas

President Xi Jinping arrived in Moscow on Wednesday, beginning a state visit to Russia as the two countries seek stronger ties amid the changing international landscape.

Atop his agenda, Xi will have talks with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, in Moscow. They will jointly attend a series of activities commemorating the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

Xi will also attend the 23rd St. Petersburg International Economic Forum and address its plenary session.

The visit follows a meeting between Xi and Putin in Beijing at the end of April. It also takes place against the backdrop of the international order facing challenges of unilateralism and protectionism, and the global economy enduring the ongoing trade dispute between China and the United States, the two largest economies in the world.

A solid political foundation and mutual trust have helped the two countries develop a comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination, Chinese Ambassador to Russia Li Hui said.

Li spoke highly of the progress the two countries have made in their pragmatic cooperation, saying the Belt and Road Initiative has boosted the two countries' economic development.

The cooperation between the two sides in strategic projects such as energy, aviation, aerospace and infrastructure has progressed remarkably, Li said, adding high technology, agriculture, e-commerce and finance have become emerging areas for bilateral cooperation.

The two nations are expected to begin negotiations on an agreement for an Eurasian economic partnership in the near future as they have already completed a joint feasibility study, the Ministry of Commerce said.

The strategic China-Russia East-Route Natural Gas Pipeline project will begin supplying gas within this year, the ministry said.

As bilateral trade hit a record high of over $100 billion last year, Li said China and Russia will strive to reach a bilateral trade volume of $200 billion as soon as possible.

Observers said cooperation between China and Russia, with both being permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, will play a significant role in promoting global peace and stability.

Li Jingjie, an expert on the history of Sino-Russian relations at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said nonalignment, nonconfrontation and nontargeting of third-party countries are the basic characteristics of Sino-Russian relations.

Only by upholding equality and mutual respect can big nations develop sound bilateral relations, Li said, adding that the China-Russia relationship acts as a role model for the international community.

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