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Xi's visit to boost Sino-Russian ties

By Cheng Guangjin | China Daily | Updated: 2013-02-22 01:36

Xi's visit to boost Sino-Russian ties

Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi meets with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Wednesday. [JIANG KEHONG / XINHUA]

The upcoming visit to Russia by China's top leader will inject a new impetus into the two countries' relationship, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said during a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Wednesday.

Putin said Xi Jinping's visit will be "a major event" in bilateral ties and expects it to yield substantial achievements.

Analysts said Yang's visit to Russia is paving the way for Xi's visit, which will promote the China-Russia relationship.

No date of the visit was mentioned.

Yang said the China-Russia relationship has entered a new stage, thanks to joint efforts made by leaders of the two countries.

The two strategic partners have become each other's opportunity for development, he said.

China is willing to work with Russia in facilitating major multilateral events within the frameworks of the BRICS, Shanghai Cooperation Organization and G-20 summits so as to deliver a message of solidarity, cooperation and win-win ends, Yang said.

According to Yang, strengthening China-Russia cooperation will not only benefit the two peoples, but also enhance world peace and development in general.

The Russia-China strategic partnership of coordination maintains good momentum, with multilayer bilateral cooperation continuously yielding fruit, Putin said.

"Russia-China relations have a huge impact on world peace and development. Russia is willing to make joint efforts with China in further promoting bilateral relations to a new level," Putin said.

Feng Yujun, director of the Institute of Russian Studies at the China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said the visit will mark another important moment in the bilateral relationship.

"The two countries' cooperation was further enhanced after the world financial crisis. Their political mutual trust has been strengthened, too," Feng said.

During the visit, a number of cooperation agreements are expected to be signed, and breakthroughs are likely to be made in sectors including innovation and high-tech, Feng said.

The two leaders are also expected to exchange views on world and regional issues, Feng said. "China and Russia's enhanced coordination is very significant for maintaining regional stability and world peace, especially during a time when the world order is restructuring."

Alexander Larin, a researcher on Chinese politics at the Institute of Far Eastern Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, said Xi's upcoming visit to Russia will prove that the two countries' leaders attach great importance to the China-Russia relationship.

China and Russia view each other as a priority in their foreign policy.

Xi said promoting relations with Russia is a priority for Chinese diplomacy when meeting visiting Russian Security Council Secretary Nikolai Patrushev in January.

China was one of Putin's first state visits abroad after returning to the Kremlin for a third term as Russian president last year. The two sides are also expected to promote their cooperation in building up oil pipelines and joint oil refinery plants, Larin said.

Russia's state-owned oil producer, Rosneft, agreed in principle to boost oil deliveries to China during Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin's visit to China earlier this week, Reuters reported.

During Sechin's meeting with Chinese Vice-Premier Wang Qishan on Tuesday, the two sides pledged to boost energy cooperation between the two countries.

In 2012, China-Russia trade reached $88.16 billion, a year-on-year increase of 11.2 percent, according to China Customs.

The two neighbors aim to achieve $100 billion in bilateral trade by 2015 and $200 billion by 2020.

Pu Zhendong and Xinhua contributed to this story.

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