China / Politics

Li's visit to Russia will 'cement' ties

By Zhao Shengnan (China Daily) Updated: 2012-04-27 07:22

China's Vice-Premier Li Keqiang's visit to Russia, the first visit by a Chinese leader after Russia's presidential election in March, would further facilitate the development of relations, said Russian Ambassador to China Sergey Sergeevich Razov.

"It's certain that Russia would cement its strategic partnership with China under a new leadership. The president-elect Vladimir Putin had pointed out before the election that Russia needs a prosperous and stable China, and China also needs a strong and successful Russia," he told China Daily.

During the visit from Thursday to Monday, Li will meet Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Prime Minister Putin, the Chairman of the Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko and Chairman of State Duma Sergei Naryshkin to promote the implementation of a plan for the development of China-Russia ties over the next 10 years, according to China's Foreign Ministry.

Both countries expect to improve bilateral ties and further explore cooperative potential through the talks, said the ambassador. "This is in the best interests of the two countries and peoples."

Li is scheduled to attend a China-Russia investment and trade promotion conference on Saturday that will introduce many large-scale and potential investment projects to Chinese entrepreneurs. According to official information, Sino-Russian cooperation in the Far East is one of China and Russia's pragmatic cooperation projects.

Bilateral trade volume between China and Russia reached about $80 billion in 2011, a 42.7 percent year-on-year rise. The number is expected to hit $100 billion in 2015 and $200 billion in 2020, a target set by both Chinese and Russian leaders.

However, Sergey Sanakoev, chairman of the Russian-Chinese Center for Trade and Economic Cooperation, told Xinhua that "bilateral investment still falls short of our expectations", and many Russian regions are eagerly looking forward to Chinese investment.

Razov said that trade between China and Russia is growing much faster than trade between China and its other partners.

"Both sides have done enormous work recently to boost economic cooperation, especially in the fields of foreign exchange, nuclear energy, telecommunications, transportation, space and military technologies," he said. "If the momentum continues, I'm optimistic about a goal of $100 billion in 2015."

"There's still great potential for bilateral cooperation in nanometer technology, wood processing and agricultural products, as well as the creative industry, to realize the modernization of both countries," said Razov, adding that the ongoing "Tourism Year of Russia" in China and 2013 "Tourism Year of China" in Russia could also motivate economic vitality and infrastructure construction in both countries.

Meanwhile, the ambassador noted that China and Russia should enhance the quality of economic cooperation by optimizing trade organizations, boosting investment and establishing industrial coordination. "I believe China-Russia economic cooperation will maintain a high growth rate and lay a solid foundation for bilateral strategic partnership," he said.

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin is currently in Beijing for a three-day visit. He met Vice-President Xi Jinping on Thursday.

Cheng Guangjin contributed to this story.

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