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Premier Li Keqiang meets the press: Full transcript of questions and answers


Updated: 2016-03-16 17:16:08


Russia Today: Both China and Russia have recognized that the business cooperation between the two countries is lacking behind the growth of their political ties, and both sides have promised to change the situation by promoting trade ties and also investment cooperation. However, we have not seen a large inflow of Chinese investment in Russia yet. What is the reason for that? Is it because of the Western sanctions against Russia or Russia's own economic situation? Are Chinese companies under pressure from the United States and other countries in cooperating with Russia. Moreover, some Chinese experts believe that China is not that interested in making investment in Russia, but only interested in getting Russia's cheap energy. What is your response?

Li Keqiang: China and Russia are each other's biggest neighbors, there is a comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination between the two countries. This relationship is an all-dimensional one. President Xi Jinping and President Vladimir Putin have met with each other quite often, there is a close political relationship between the two countries and our business cooperation has been continuously rising because we have multiple operations in quite many fields. China has all along developed its relationship with Russia on the basis of mutual respect and mutual benefit, and China pursues an independent foreign policy of peace. China-Russia relations will not be affected by changing circumstances in the international environment, and will not cave to third-party pressure. In the meantime, China follows the principle of nonalignment, and China-Russian cooperation will not be targeted at any third party.

Just now I said our business cooperation has also been rising. For example, last year, Chinese imports of oil from Russia increased by eight million tons, but because of plummeting commodity prices on international markets, China's total imports and exports declined, not just its imports from Russia. The physical volume has gone up, by the total trade volume has come down because of the falling prices, and neither country is responsible for that. Last year I had a deep discussion about China-Russia business cooperation with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, we agreed that we can explore cooperation in the integrated development of oil and natural gas, sectors that will help attract more Chinese investment, and we can also introduce a greater level of diversity into our trade mix. I hope that next year, if you come to this press conference again, I can tell you that the business ties between our two countries have turned the corner for the better.

And I believe the enhancement of our business ties will also reflect the improvement of the global trade situation, and that will be a warm breeze our two countries can bring to global trade.