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Putin vows deeper China ties under $200b trade goal

By Ren Qi | China Daily | Updated: 2021-06-07 07:43

Russian President Vladimir Putin attends a session of the St Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) in Saint Petersburg, Russia, June 4, 2021. [Photo/Agencies]

Russian President Vladimir Putin says his country will further deepen its cooperation with China and forecast that trade between the two countries will reach $200 billion by 2024.

The neighbors have extensive shared interests, and Russia is willing to seek enhanced cooperation with China in more areas, Putin said on Friday. These efforts will serve as an important foundation of deepened bilateral cooperation, Putin said during a meeting with the heads of major international news agencies in St. Petersburg.

The media event was organized by the Russian state news agency Tass on the sidelines of the 2021 St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, which ended on Saturday.

Recalling his close interactions with Chinese President Xi Jinping over the years, Putin said he and Xi recently witnessed the launch of four nuclear power units of a bilateral nuclear energy cooperation project, describing it as a development that marked an important part of the high-tech cooperation between the two countries.

Stressing the importance of economic cooperation, Putin said Russia and China had managed to keep bilateral trade at levels above $100 billion for several years in a row-even in 2020, despite the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The two countries are expected to boost bilateral trade to $200 billion by 2024, Putin said.

Russia and China are also working closely together in a variety of fields such as aircraft manufacturing, lunar research, energy, environmental protection, and people- to-people exchanges, Putin said, adding that Russia stands ready to work with China to further synergize the Eurasian Economic Union with the Belt and Road Initiative.

Putin said Russia and China will undoubtedly strengthen their coordination and collaboration and safeguard common interests, noting that such strategic coordination is conducive to international strategic stability.

On the same day, Chinese State Councilor and Foreign Minister Wang Yi and his Russian counterpart Sergei Lavrov said in a phone call that the two countries would firmly support each other on issues concerning their core interests.

Wang said the all-weather China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era has withstood numerous changes in the international landscape, emphasizing that China and Russia have always firmly supported each other on issues concerning their core interests.

Fundamental guarantee

The guidance of the heads of state is the fundamental guarantee for bilateral relations to develop in a steady and sustained way in order for them to enjoy long-lasting vitality, Wang said.

The two sides should work to translate their high-level political mutual trust and traditional friendship into more cooperation achievements, aiming for an ever closer and down-to-earth relationship and setting a fine example of developing a new type of relations between major countries, Wang said.

According to Wang, bilateral trade exceeded $40 billion in the first four months of this year, up 19.8 percent year-on-year and on track to reach a record high for the whole year.

For his part, Lavrov said the Russia-China comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era has advanced vigorously and achieved fruitful results, and Russia is satisfied with the high level of the two countries' relations.

Russia will work together with China to earnestly implement the consensus reached between the two countries' heads of state, support efforts to synergize the Eurasian Economic Union and the Belt and Road Initiative, and proactively advance bilateral cooperation in various fields so as to add new dimensions to Russia-China good neighborliness and friendship, Lavrov said.

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