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Xi says China-Russia relations 'at best time in history'

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-07-03 18:47
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BEIJING - Chinese President Xi Jinping said Monday that China-Russia relations are at their "best time in history," while stressing that the two countries have great potentials to be unlocked in economic and trade cooperation.

Xi made the statement in an interview with Russian media ahead of his departure for the July 3-4 state visit to Russia.

The two countries have built high-level political and strategic mutual trust, the Chinese president said, noting that China and Russia have completely resolved their border issues left over by history, turning the 4,300-km boundary line into a bond of friendship between the two peoples.

The two nations are each other's most trustworthy strategic partners, Xi noted.

China and Russia have also established healthy mechanisms both for high-level exchanges and for cooperation in various fields, Xi added.

"President (Vladimir) Putin and I have built good working relations and a close personal friendship," Xi said.

"I will start a state visit to Russia at the invitation of President Putin. I believe the visit will inject new impetus into the development of the China-Russia relations," Xi said.

According to the Chinese president, the two countries are also working together to tap their cooperation potential and foster new growth areas in bilateral cooperation.

"The fast-growing, pragmatic cooperation has become the locomotive in the continuous development of the China-Russia relations," Xi said.

The Chinese president said he and Putin both think China and Russia should deepen economic and trade cooperation so as to reinforce their interests bond and better benefit the two peoples.

Economic and trade cooperation enjoys the broadest basis in China-Russia practical cooperation, and has great potential to be tapped because many new areas of growth are emerging from its structural optimization, Xi told the Russian media.

Xi said growth could be achieved from increased trade of mechanical and electrical and hi-tech products, smooth investment cooperation, deepening financial cooperation, the rapidly growing farm produce trade, the Far East development cooperation on a faster track, and steady progress in strategic cooperation projects and cross-border infrastructure construction.

Strategic projects in sectors such as energy, nuclear and aerospace serve as cornerstones of cooperation, where the two countries should join efforts in research, production and application of cooperation achievements, Xi said.

He added that joint cross-border infrastructure projects such as the building of an international transport corridor and the North Polar sea-route will help promote interconnectivity to inject new vigor into bilateral cooperation.

Xi also highlighted bilateral efforts underway to boost alignment of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative with the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union, which he said will help open more cooperation space by facilitating investment and trade, and by increasing business opportunities and movement of technology and capital, among others, to benefit all parties involved.

Xi also stressed the key role of small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in economic growth, innovation and job creation, urging efforts to boost SME cooperation between the two sides.

"The two governments should create a favorable environment for cooperation between SMEs of the two countries, and encourage their interest in this aspect, enabling them to grow along, boost each other and work together with big enterprises to open third-party markets," Xi suggested.

Meanwhile, Xi said that the two countries have witnessed rapid development of people-to-people and cultural exchanges. They have also maintained close strategic cooperation in global and regional affairs, which serves as a ballast stone in safeguarding global and regional peace, security and stability, Xi added.

Looking into the future, Xi said he is confident about the development of the China-Russia comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, and that he is ready to work with President Putin to help guide and promote continued and healthy development of China-Russia ties.

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