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Xi's Russia visit to inject new impetus into bilateral ties, Eurasian integration: Chinese ambassador

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-07-01 15:34

MOSCOW -- Chinese President Xi Jinping's upcoming visit to Russia will inject fresh impetus into the high-level development of bilateral relations and the economic integration of the Eurasian region, said Chinese Ambassador to Russia Li Hui.

At the invitation of President Vladimir Putin, Xi will pay a state visit to Russia in early July, which Li said marks "the most important event for bilateral ties this year."

The two presidents will meet for the third time this year, following meetings on the sidelines of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing and the Astana summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

Xi and Putin, Li said in a recent interview, will make strategic plans for further improving China-Russia relations, strengthening practical cooperation and advancing the connection of the Belt and Road Initiative and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU).

They will also exchange views on enhancing global governance as well as international and regional hotspot issues, added the ambassador.

"The comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination between China and Russia has been developing stably, sustainably and at a high level," said Li.

In dealing with international affairs, China and Russia have strengthened strategic coordination and played their due role as big countries, said Li, noting that they have been jointly pushing for a political settlement of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue and the Syrian issue.

The two countries, he pointed out, serve as the ballast for regional and global peace and stability.

It is a strategic choice for China and Russia to strengthen their relations since it is in line with the core interests of both countries and their peoples, said Li.

"No matter how the international environment changes, we should make all-out efforts to maintain and improve bilateral relations," said the ambassador.

During the interview, Li highlighted the complementarity and potential of economic and trade cooperation between the two countries.

China has been Russia's largest trading partner for six years and Russia has been a major source for China to import energy and high-tech products.

According to China's General Administration of Customs, China-Russia trade grew 33.7 percent in the first five months this year to 223.1 billion yuan (about $32.8 billion).

"I believe the quality and quantity of economic and trade cooperation between the two countries will continue to rise," said Li.

In May 2015, China and Russia signed a joint declaration on synergizing the Belt and Road Initiative and the EAEU.

The Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by China in 2013, consists of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road.

It aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along and beyond the ancient Silk Road trade routes.

The EAEU comprises Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, with an aim of encouraging regional economic integration through the free movement of goods, services and people within the union.

Li said the connection of the two development plans has begun to bear fruit and more achievements will be made.

China and Russia are also founding members both of the SCO and of the BRICS mechanism, which groups Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

The two countries should work for closer cooperation among the SCO and BRICS countries, Li said.

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