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Xi arrives in Moscow for state visit to Russia

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-07-03 20:03
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MOSCOW - Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived here on Monday, embarking on his second state visit to Russia since taking office in 2013.

During his stay in Moscow, Xi will hold talks with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, and the two sides will sign a series of cooperation agreements in such fields as trade, economy, investment, connectivity, media and education, Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Li Huilai said at an earlier press conference.

The two sides will also sign a joint statement and approve the 2017-2020 implementation outline for the Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation between China and Russia, according to the official.

The latest visit marks Xi's sixth trip to Russia since he took over the Chinese presidency in 2013, and will witness the third meeting so far this year between Xi and Putin, who have met for 22 times.

The closer-than-ever relationship between Xi and Putin has become a "locomotive" for cementing their countries's comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination, said Chen Yurong, a senior researcher on Eurasian studies at the China Institute of International Studies.

Last year, the two countries managed to reverse the declining trend in bilateral trade, bringing up the volume by 2.2 percent to 69.5 billion U.S. dollars. In the first five months this year, two-way trade totaled 32.4 billion dollars, up 26 percent from the same period last year.

China has been Russia's largest trading partner for years, and Russia China's major source of cutting-edge machineries and other high-tech imports.

The two countries are also committed to synergizing the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative with the development plans of the Eurasian Economic Union, which groups Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia.

In an apparent gesture of support for the Chinese initiative, Putin traveled to Beijing in May to attend the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation.

The flourishing and ever-lasting friendship between Beijing and Moscow also contributes to regional and global peace and prosperity, said Chinese Ambassador to Russia Li Hui.

China-Russia coordination, he added, has played an important role in pushing for a peaceful settlement of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue and the Syrian issue.

From Moscow, Xi will fly to Germany, where he will pay a state visit to the European country and attend the upcoming summit of the Group of 20 major economies.

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