BEIJING - Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov arrived in China on Thursday
for a two-day visit likely to focus on growing energy ties between the giant
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov
shakes hands with Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao before a meeting at the Great
Hall of the People in Beijing November 9, 2006. Fradkov will attend the closing
ceremony of the "Year of Russia" in Beijing. [Reuters]
Fradkov held talks with Chinese Prime Minister Wen Jiabao and attended the
closing ceremony of the "Year of Russia" in China. He was to meet President Hu
Jintao and top legislator Wu Bangguo on Friday.
"We exchanged views on Sino-Russian relations in a friendly and frank manner
and reached a wide consensus," Wen said, without giving details.
said "we have actively cooperated and continue to deepen cooperation in all
areas between the two countries."
Energy supplies for the rapidly expanding Chinese economy have become a
central issue between the countries. Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander
Zhukov said in an article he wrote for the state media that "it is important for
Russia to bring its energy cooperation with China to a higher technological
level, without confining it only to shipments of Russian raw materials."
State media reported Thursday that China and Russia had signed eight
agreements, covering sectors as diverse as trade, energy, car production and
infrastructure construction. The contracted investment volume from the Chinese
side is US$800 million (euro626.17 million).
Xinhua News Agency quoted Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi as saying at the start
of the Sino-Russian Investment Promotion Week that the volume of bilateral trade
should hit US$60-US$80 billion by 2010.
Bilateral trade totaled US$29.1 billion (euro22.78 billion) in 2005, and had
reached US$24.64 billion (euro19.29 billion) in the first nine months of this
year, up almost 20 percent from the same period a year earlier.
In October, Russian state oil company OAO Rosneft said it had set up a joint
venture with China National Petroleum Corp. to explore for oil in Russia, with
Rosneft holding 51 percent of the company, called Vostok Energy, while CNPC has
The deal marks the latest advance by China to tap into Russia's vast energy
resources, and comes after CNPC bought a US$500 million slice of Rosneft's
US$10.4 billion midyear initial public offering.
Russia is the world's second-largest oil exporter after Saudi Arabia, while
China has accounted for about 40 percent of global demand growth over the past
Also in October, Exxon Mobil Corp. signed a preliminary agreement to sell all
the natural gas it exports from Sakhalin island in Russia's far east to the
China National Petroleum Corp.
But talks are going on with state-controlled gas monopoly OAO Gazprom, which
has a monopoly on Russian gas pipelines, effectively giving it veto power over
independent gas projects.
China buys Russian oil and weapons, while Russia's imports of Chinese-made
appliances and other consumer goods have been rising.