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This post was edited by appleeater at 2019-9-18 11:05|
China and Russia Tuesday agreed to further enhance cooperation in trade, energy and other areas, setting a goal to double bilateral trade volume.
The agreement came as Chinese Premier Li Keqiang visited Russia and co-chaired the 24th regular meeting between Chinese and Russian heads of government with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
Premier Li said China stands ready to better align the Belt and Road Initiative with the Eurasian Economic Union, maintain the growing momentum of China-Russia trade and improve the level of trade and investment facilitation.
China has been Russia's top trading partner for nine years running. Last year, the two-way trade surged by 27.1 percent, breaking the 100-billion-U.S.-dollar mark for the first time.
During the regular meeting, Li and Medvedev were briefed by vice premiers of China Sun Chunlan and Hu Chunhua, Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Anton Siluanov, and deputy prime ministers of Russia Dmitry Kozak, Tatyana Golikova and Maxim Akimov.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev co-chair the 24th regular meeting between Chinese and Russian heads of government in St. Petersburg, Russia, September 17, 2019. /Xinhua Photo
The two heads of government also had in-depth exchanges of views on international and regional issues of common concern.
After the meeting, Li and Medvedev signed a joint communique of the 24th regular meeting, met the press and witnessed the signing of a series of deals in areas including investment, economy, trade, agriculture, nuclear energy, aviation, science and technology, and digital economy.
Li arrived in St. Petersburg Monday afternoon for a three-day official visit.
China, Russia to enhance sci-tech innovation cooperation
During the joint press conference, Premier Li expressed hope that the two sides will actively explore deepening the refining-petrochemical integration, and increase the added value of energy cooperation to help realize their goal of doubling bilateral trade on time.
Noting that both countries support multilateralism and free trade, Li said China has further opened up its manufacturing sector and invited Russian companies to seize the opportunity and invest in China.
Li also urged the two countries to tap their cooperation potential in sci-tech innovation as they have designated the years of 2020 and 2021 as "Year of Scientific and Technological Innovation" in each other's country.
When co-chairing the meeting, Premier Li called on the two sides to harness their complementary advantages, fully tap cooperation potential in such areas as basic research, applied research and the application of scientific and technological achievements in production.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev meet the press in St. Petersburg, Russia, September 17, 2019. /Xinhua Photo
For his part, Medvedev said Russia is willing to further expand trade with China and will work hard to realize the goal of doubling the trade volume during the meeting.
Besides bilateral cooperation in traditional areas such as energy, Russia will scale up cooperation on hi-tech and promote cooperation in areas including agriculture, industry, aviation and space, and nuclear energy to yield more fruitful results, said Medvedev.
In face of increasing instability and rising protectionism, Russia stands ready to enhance strategic communication and practical cooperation with China, and expand cooperation in high-tech fields such as artificial intelligence and robotics while accelerating cooperation in traditional sectors such as energy, said the Russian prime minister.
China, Russia to expand opening up for common development
China and Russia should open doors wider to the world and to each other for mutual benefit and common development, Premier Li said when jointly meeting the press with Medvedev.
Li's visit was made on the occasion of the 70th anniversary of China-Russia diplomatic relations. During Chinese President Xi Jinping's state visit to Russia in June, the China-Russia relationship was elevated to the comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era.
The Chinese premier noted the sound and stable development of bilateral relations is in the interests of both countries and also conducive to human progress under current circumstances.
As each other's biggest neighbors and permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, China and Russia boast healthy and stable ties, said Li during the regular meeting.
Against the backdrop of growing uncertain and unstable factors in the international situation, it not only benefits both countries but also contributes to regional and world stability and prosperity that China and Russia enhance strategic coordination, reinforce political mutual trust, deepen pragmatic cooperation and intensify people-to-people and cultural exchanges, he said.
Chinese Premier Li Keqiang and his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev sign a joint communique after the 24th regular meeting in St. Petersburg, September 17, 2019. /Xinhua Photo
When co-chairing the meeting, Medvedev said this year is of significance to Russia-China relations as it marks the 70th anniversary of the founding of the People's Republic of China and that of the diplomatic ties between the two countries.
Noting that bilateral ties are now at their best in history, Medvedev said it is Russia's priority of foreign policy to strengthen ties with China as it accords with Russia's own needs.
He said both countries have been coordinating on the international stage and advocating that multilateral international rules should be followed while unilateral sanctions should be opposed.
Russia attaches great importance to the sub-national cooperation and people-to-people exchanges, the Russian prime minister said, adding that the country hopes to conduct more exchanges between young people, universities and local governments.
(With input from Xinhua)