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Pragmatic cooperation expected during China-Russia prime ministers’ regular meeting

Updated: Oct 31,2016 11:34 AM

Under the invitation of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Premier Li Keqiang will pay an official visit to Russia from Nov 6 to 8, and attend the 21st China-Russia Prime Ministers’ Regular Meeting with his Russian counterpart.

Since the establishment in 1996, the China-Russia ministers meetings have become a comprehensive cooperation platform with four vice prime minister-level cooperation committees and more than 20 sub-committees and working groups.

In the past 20 years, bilateral trade volume has increased from $6 billion to $95 billion, and China remains as the top trade partner to Russia for 6 consecutive years. Meanwhile, joint development, production and application begin to take more shares from general trade.

Mutual investment is also increasing. The China-Russia crude oil pipeline, the east route gas project and other strategic energy projects are already under construction, or in full operation. The two sides also signed a currency swap agreement of 150 billion yuan ($22 billion) to expand settlements in local currencies.

Despite declining trade volume since last year due to global economic downturn and hard negotiations over the west route gas project, China and Russia are working together for long-term, strategic and comprehensive cooperation.

Currently, the two sides are also discussing joint research on long-distance wide-body airplanes, heavy helicopters and nuclear power, which will exert profound influence on science and the international competitiveness of both nations.

During this visit, Premier Li and Medvedev will talk about cooperation in trade, energy, technology and agriculture, paving the way for the next 20 years.