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China, Russia vow to enhance pragmatic cooperation, safeguard peaceful border

Updated: Nov 8,2016 7:49 AM     Xinhua

Premier Li Keqiang (L) shakes hands with his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev at the 21st China-Russia Prime Ministers’ Regular Meeting in St. Petersburg, Russia, Nov 7, 2016.[Photo/Xinhua]

ST. PETERSBURG — China and Russia on Nov 7 vowed to enhance pragmatic cooperation and safeguard a peaceful border.

The two countries reached a wide range of consensus after Premier Li Keqiang met with his Russian counterpart, Dmitry Medvedev.

China and Russia, each other’s biggest neighbors and in a comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination, have seen their relations develop in a sustained, stable and sound manner, and pragmatic cooperation continuously bears new fruits, said Premier Li during his meeting with Medvedev.

The Premier arrived in St. Petersburg on Nov 6 for the 21st China-Russia Prime Ministers’ Regular Meeting and an official visit to the northern neighbor.

ENHANCING PRAGMATIC COOPERATION

China is willing to work with Russia to synergize the Belt and Road Initiative and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), and lift the levels of China-Russia ties and cooperation, the Premier said.

The China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative, which comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, aspires to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road routes. The EEU groups Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia.

In the context of fragile world economic recovery and slowing global trade growth, China and Russia should further give full play to their complementary advantages, so as to add new vitality into each other’s development, revitalization, and economic transformation and upgrade, he said.

The Premier pointed to small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and innovation in particular as the areas where the two countries should step up efforts to promote their future cooperation.

He also called for more efforts to strengthen financial cooperation and increase the volume of settlement in local currency to support relevant cooperation.

On trade and investment, he said the two sides should work to expand trade, jointly safeguard world trade system and rules, comprehensively boost the level of facilitation, and promote a sound and sustained development of bilateral economic and trade cooperation and two-way investment.

Cooperation in agriculture, especially in deep processing of agricultural products, enjoys broad prospect, he said, urging the two countries to jointly advance cooperation in this field.

During the meeting, the Premier also highlighted people-to-people exchanges, and cooperation in science and technology, and education, calling for efforts to make China-Russia Media Exchange Year a success.

Medvedev said the two countries would make more efforts to boost cooperation in SMEs’ innovation, while actively conducting cooperation in major projects in the areas of oil gas and civilian nuclear energy.

Financial cooperation should also be enhanced to provide financing support for the two countries’ companies to conduct cooperation, he added.

Medvedev pointed to the electromechanical, agriculture, science and technology, aviation, high-speed railways as the sectors where the two sides should promote cooperation, and vowed to go all out to reach the goal of raising the two countries’ trade volume.

Russia and China should enhance cooperation on local levels in the Far East region, make efforts to ensure a successful China-Russia Media Exchange Year, increase the number of students studying in the other side’s universities, and boost cooperation in tourism, Medvedev said.

JOINT COMMUNIQUÉ

The meeting produced a joint communiqué calling upon the two countries to deepen cooperation in a wide range of fields, including economy and trade, investment, energy and people-to-people exchanges.

Agreeing that great potential exists in bilateral trade and investment cooperation based on solid partnership and close economic and trade relations, the two countries would deepen economic integration through building mutually beneficial economic partnership in Eurasia, it said.

China and Russia would continue to carry forward cooperation in the fields of transport, cross-border infrastructure, logistics, among others, within the framework of synergizing the Belt and Road Initiative and the EEU, according to the communiqué.

The two sides will seriously discuss the possibility of setting up industrial parks along the regions on the upper and middle reaches of the Yangtze River and along Russia’s Volga River, it said.

The joint communiqué urged the two countries to take necessary measures to strengthen cooperation in the trade of agricultural products, and promote the entry of safe animal and plant products into each other’s market.

The two countries would also work to boost the “strategic” and “comprehensive” cooperation in the field of energy, including electricity, coal, renewable energy, and equipment, technology and project service for energy.

FIRST JOINT BORDER INSPECTION COMPLETED

China and Russia also published a joint statement on the result of the two countries’ first-ever joint border inspection, which was started in 2011 as a significant move to ensure peace, stability and development in the border areas between the two countries.

From 2011 to 2016, China and Russia conducted a large-scale land, topographic and hydrographic survey along the two country’s over 4,300 km border, before drafting the protocol for the result of the joint border inspection and formulating attached maps.

After taking effect, the protocol and attached maps will be the supplementary documents to the border demarcation documents, according to the joint statement.

In the statement, the two sides vowed to continue their commitment to safeguarding the clearness, stability, tranquillity and peace of the two countries’ borders.

China and Russia agree that the prosperity, development and the all-around mutually beneficial cooperation in their border regions reflect the high level China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination, and are in the interests of the two peoples, said the statement.

A peaceful and prosperous border region would substantially promote the long-term stability and prosperity of the two countries, and is conducive to peace and tranquillity of Northeastern Asia region as a whole, it added.

This year marks the 15th anniversary of the signing of the China-Russia Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation and the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the China-Russia strategic partnership of coordination.

Premier Li is scheduled to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in the Russian capital of Moscow on Nov 8.

Russia is the last stop of Premier Li’s eight-day Eurasia trip, which has already carried him to Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Latvia.

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