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China, Russia find ways to work together
By Jiang Zhuqing (China Daily)
Updated: 2004-04-01 00:12

Co-operative prospects between China and Russia, its largest neighbour, on resources, such as oil exploitation and pipelines, are on the rise, said officials from the two countries earlier this week.

Alexander K. Akimov, vice-president of Sakha Republic (Yakutia) in northeastern Russia Federation, said Chinese enterprises are welcome to participate in oil exploitation in East Serbia.

Yakutia has rich oil resources and is willing to co-operate with Chinese enterprises in that field, said the Russian official on March 28 before concluding his visit to China.

Statistics held by Russia's side show that the oil reserve discovered in Sakha Republic located in East Serbia and its western and southern regions total 200 million tons while the oil exploited in 2003 was only 290,000 tons.

With its rapid economic development, China demands oil importation from abroad in large quantity; and Russia, rich in oil resources, also requires the mammoth market of China, which is the nearest and most stable market for Russia's oil, said Chinese Ambassador to Russia Liu Guchang at a joint press conference attended by Chinese and Russian journalists on Tuesday.

"The construction of oil pipelines, which is the most proper and economical way to transport oil from Russia to China, has aroused attention from both sides," said Liu.

"The two neighbours have no discrepancy in building oil pipelines."

Leaders from the two sides have exchanged many views and agreed to work together to build pipelines to China, Liu noted.

Russian leaders mentioned in several occasions that the country plans to enlarge oil exports to China through railways before the pipelines are completed, said the ambassador.

The Sino-Russian relationship as a whole has maintained strong momentum in the past years despite a series of spats on issues of bilateral trade, illegal migration and the installation of oil pipelines, said Liu at the conference.

"China's peaceful growth will offer neither challenges nor menace but provide opportunities to its largest neighbour, Russia," Liu said.

China's development will depend on equal and mutual co-operation with other countries, especially Russia. Both countries share vast markets and opportunities, he said.

At the same time, Russia's development also means opportunities for China, he noted.

"We hope to see a growing, stable and prosperous Russia which will be good for China, for Sino-Russian ties as well for the whole world," Liu said.

Commenting on reports that the goods of many Chinese merchants in Moscow were seized in police raids, Liu said the two nations have solved the issue through negotiation.

Sino-Russian people-to-people trade has played positive role in forwarding overall bilateral trade relations.

That's why the two nations have agreed to set up joint working group to further regulate Sino-Russian trade, Liu said.

In the raids from February 9 to 12, Russian Interior Ministry agents carted away large amounts of goods from more than 300 stalls rented by Chinese merchants in a city market, saying they lacked legal entry papers for the items, reports said.

Tackling the illegal migration issue which shadows the bilateral ties, Liu said accusations that claim the Chinese Government has adopted policies to encourage its citizens to migrate into Russia are baseless.

On the contrary, China, which always opposes illegal migration and has promulgated a series of laws and policies as well adopted measures and to fight against the problem.

Liu said there are some Chinese citizens trying to stay in Russian claiming to be businesspeople or hoping to sneak into Western countries by way of Russia.

Reliable data indicate that the number of Chinese people living in Russia is between 150,000-200,000, according to Russian media.

Meanwhile, a recent population census showed about 35,000 Chinese living in Russia, Liu noted.

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