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President to bolster Sino-Russian ties

By Ren Qi in Russia | China Daily | Updated: 2017-07-04 07:22
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Greater regional integration of economies to help both countries

President Xi Jinping's state visit to Russia will inject new energy into Sino-Russian relations and provide new opportunities for greater regional economic integration, said Li Hui, the Chinese ambassador to Russia.

Li Hui, the Chinese ambassador to Russia

Xi arrived in Moscow on Monday to start the two-day visit.

The visit means a lot for both Sino-Russian relations and the international community, given that the current international situation is complicated, the global economy is recovering slowly, and tremendous adjustments are taking place in the relations among powers, Li said, in an exclusive interview with China Daily.

"Xi will meet his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, for the third time this year after the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in May and Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Astana last month," Li said.

The two leaders will exchange opinions over mutual concerns to further enhance the China-Russian Comprehensive Strategic Partnership of Coordination and deepen practical cooperation between the two countries.

The meeting of the two presidents will also help to strengthen the coordination between Belt and Road Initiative and Eurasian Economic Union, Li said.

"Russia is one of the founding countries of the EEU, and it's China's good neighbor, good partner and good friend. China and Russia have achieved great progress in cooperation in the fields of economics, energy, infrastructure construction, finance, aerospace and culture since the release of a joint statement about coordination between the Belt and Road Initiative and the EEU by the leaders two years ago," Li said.

Li said China has been Russia's largest trading partner for six consecutive years and one of the main countries for its exports of energy and high-tech products as well.

In the first five months of this year, their trade volume reached 223.1 billion yuan ($32.8 billion), increasing by 33.7 percent compared with last year, the ambassador said.

He said the two countries have great economic complementarity, which may stimulate additional opportunities as they cooperate in new ways.

"First of all, we have established new trading platforms, including those for internet commerce, and there is more trading of agricultural products and oil and gas equipment than ever.

"Second, the two countries have initiated closer financial links, as Russian currency authority Bank of Russia has opened its first overseas branch in Beijing, and a renminbi clearing center opened in Moscow.

"Some major cooperation projects have started with the support of the China Development Bank, the Export-Import Bank of China and many Russian financial institutions," he added

Li said developing and strengthening Sino-Russian relations is a good strategic choice for both countries, and serves the interests of both.

"Both China and Russia are founder countries of the SCO and BRICS, and play significant roles in the two international cooperation mechanisms," Li said.

BRICS is the economic bloc made up of Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Li said China and Russia are confident they will be able to fulfill their responsibility to unite all member countries of the SCO and BRICS in order to form closer, more comprehensive and more stable partnerships.

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