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ST. PETERSBURG, Russia - Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao arrived in St. Petersburg of Russia Monday evening, kicking off his two-day official visit to the country, where he is expected to exchange views on further deepening and expanding China-Russia ties.
In a written speech given at the airport, Wen said China-Russia relations have maintained a vigorous momentum in recent years. Tradtional friendship between the two peoples has deepened, political mutual trust enhanced and economic cooperation strengthened. China and Russia has effective cooperation when dealing with international affairs, he said.
"Developing a long-term healthy and steady strategic partnership of coordination between China and Russia is in line with the basic interests of the two countries and two peoples, conducive to the development and growth of the two countries, and helpful to the development of the world's multipolarization and establishment of a more reasonable and just international order," he said.
During the visit, Wen, together with Russian leaders, will review the comprehensive bilateral cooperation over the past year and determine the priorities in the next phase of their practical cooperation. They will also study ways and measures to accomplish the abovementioned goals. Meanwhile, they will also review their achievements in Language Year activities and mull ways of further expanding cooperation in this field.
As for bilateral economic cooperation, the leaders will witness the signing ceremonies of a new set of cooperation agreements in such sectors as trade, high-tech, energy, agriculture, finance etc. Exchange of views on international issues and issues of common concern is also one of the top tasks of Wen's visit.
Developing relations with each other has been the top priority of both countries. Bilateral trade between the two neighbors has skyrocketed to $45.1 billion this year, a 43.4-percent increase over the same period last year. It is very likely to shoot up to over $50 billion by the year end, rebounding to the pre-economic crisis level.
Wen will go to Moscow to meet with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev on Tuesday and will travel to Dushanbe to pay an official visit to Tajikistan and attend the prime ministers' meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.