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Premier in Russia eyeing oil, technology deals
By Meng Yan (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-09-24 01:18

Premier Wen Jiabao arrived in the Russian capital Thursday afternoon, starting his three-day visit.

"The Chinese Government is willing to constantly deepen bilateral co-operation in all areas and push Sino-Russian relations to a new height under the principles set by the Good-Neighbourly Treaty on Friendship and Co-operation," Wen said in a written speech delivered upon his arrival.

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao speaks with his fellow countrymen shortly after his arrival in Moscow, Thursday, Sept. 23, 2004. [newsphoto]

Wen will meet Russian President Vladimir Putin and attend the ninth regular meeting between Chinese and Russian prime ministers today.

Before flying to Moscow, Wen Thursday attended the third meeting of the Shanghai Co-operation Organization (SCO) among prime ministers from member states.

Besides Wen, Kyrgyz Prime Minister Nikolai Tanayev, Kazakh Prime Minister Daniyal Akhmetov, Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov, Tajik Deputy Prime Minister Asdulo Gulomof and Uzbek Deputy Prime Minister Utkur Sultanov attended the meeting.

The meeting was held to translate the consensus reached by heads of the member states in their Tashkent Summit in June into concrete actions.

The premiers issued a joint communique and adopted nine documents including a plan on measures to implement the compendium on multi-lateral economic and trade co-operation among SCO member states.

In a press conference held after the meeting, Wen said the SCO should focus on promoting regional economic co-operation in an all-round way after completing its initial stage of work in the past three years.

The plan covered such major areas as economy, science and technology and the humanistic co-operation between member states, touching upon over 100 specific projects and tasks.

The joint communique says the member states will commit themselves to gradually facilitate the free flow of commodities, capital, services and technology, promising to prepare legal documents and co-ordinate related legislation to that end.

The premiers pledged to promote their collaboration in oil and gas exploitation, construction of oil and gas pipelines, the oil chemical industry, and exploitation of hydro power and mineral resources. They also vowed to give priority to agriculture, the food industry, and high-technology co-operation in information and telecommunications.

Wen said at the press meeting that the oil pipeline between China and Kazakstan will begin operating later this month.

In his speech at the meeting, Wen said industrial committees should be established as soon as possible to promote direct contact among enterprises so that they become the driving forces of economic co-operation. He proposed to encourage local administrations, especially in border regions, to engage in economic co-operation and tap the potential of non-governmental economic co-operation.

Wen also suggested enhancing information exchange to promote commercial information flow and the transparency of economic legislation of member states.

The premiers Thursday jointly launched the website of SCO regional economic co-operation.

The website was initiated and solely invested in by China. It is the first information co-operation project of the organization which aims to offer member states trade and investment information and promote regional economic co-operative processes.

The premiers underscored the importance of working together in communication, co-ordinating trans-border transportation policy and establishing international transportation channels. They planned to complete the drafting of a multi-lateral agreement on the facilitation of international highway communication by the end of June next year.

The premiers also discussed environmental protection, maintenance of regional biological balance, rational utilization of water resources and the prevention of land desertification and other environmental deterioration.

They emphasized that the SCO is willing to establish connections with international economic forums and organizations to realize its goal.

The joint communique strongly condemned the latest terrorist activities in its member states, referring to the hostage-taking incident in the southern Russian town of Beslan earlier this month. It underlined the importance of enhancing co-operation in combating international terrorism and meeting new types of security challenges.

Wen reiterated in his speech that China firmly supports the efforts of the Russian Government to crack down on terrorism.

He said the organization should push for the overall effective functioning of the regional anti-terrorism agency, promote information exchange and co-ordinated actions by security law enforcement agencies and establish the liaison and contingency mechanism to deal with major incidents.

The premiers agreed that the next meeting of member state premiers will be held in Moscow in the second half of next year.

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