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China, Russia to increase trade to hundreds of billions

Staff writer |
China and Russia vowed to beef up cooperation in a wide range of fields, including finance, trade, energy and transportation infrastructure.

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The pledge came in a joint statement during a visit by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putin is in Shanghai for the 4th summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia and on a state visit to China at the invitation of President Xi Jinping. Xi held talks with Putin in the city yesterday.

According to the statement, the two countries will expand local currency settlement for bilateral trade, cross-border investment and financing and will strengthen exchanges for the formulation of macro-economic policies.

The two pledged to increase bilateral trade to $100 billion by 2015 and $200 billion by 2020 from nearly $90 billion last year.

The two will work to ensure balanced trade, optimize trade structure and expand mutual investment in fields such as transportation infrastructure, mining development, and housing projects in Russia, the statement said.

The two sides vowed to enhance cooperation in the petroleum industry, kick-start Russia’s supply of natural gas to China as soon as possible and jointly develop coal mines in Russia. They will also consider jointly building power plants in Russia to increase power supplies to China.

Cooperation will be strengthened in projects involving the peaceful use of nuclear energy, civil aviation, research on aerospace technologies, satellite navigation and manned space flight. Construction of cross-border transportation infrastructure will be accelerated and Russia will facilitate China’s goods shipments using its railway networks, ports and the Northern Sea route.

The countries also pledged cooperation in the use and protection of water resources and the establishment of nature reserves.

The two paid high attention to cooperation under the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, including in the fight against terrorism, arms trafficking, illegal drug trade and organized cross-border crime, and the safeguarding of information.

They said it was the SCO’s priority to promote regional economic cooperation, improve the investment environment in member states and strengthen exchanges in industrial circles.

The Eurasian Union, due to be established on January 1, 2015, will help promote regional security and stability and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation, the statement said.

Russia spoke highly of the Silk Road Economic Belt initiative proposed by China and the two will seek conjunction points between the economic belt and the Eurasian Union, such as building transportation infrastructure, it said.

The two countries also pledged to strengthen coordination and cooperation under the framework of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum.

The two also promised to deepen cooperation under the framework of CICA, saying it was an effective mechanism for talks on regional peace and security.

Russia welcomed China as CICA chair from 2014 to 2016, saying the chairmanship can help promote trust-building measures.

Xi said he would invite Putin to China to attend the 22nd APEC leaders’ meeting in November and Putin said he was looking forward to attending.

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