Premier Li Keqiang met with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on Nov 8, continuing bilateral high-level exchanges and signaling a desire for further cooperation.
Moscow was Premier Li’s second stop in Russia and the last stop of his eight-day Eurasian trip, which has also taken him to Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Latvia. Premier Li also met with Putin in June during the Russian president’s visit to China.
A major characteristic of the China-Russia relationship is that high-level meetings are frequent between leaders of the two countries, which has become the “locomotive” that pulls bilateral ties forward, Jiang Yi, a Central Asian studies researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said on Nov 8.
In June, Premier Li vowed to further link China’s Belt and Road Initiative with the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union and to form an industrial chain for cooperation in gas, nuclear power and electricity. Putin pledged willingness to promote production capacity and third-party market cooperation.
Before his arrival in Moscow on Nov 8, Premier Li visited the Russian coastal city of St Petersburg, where he attended the 21st China-Russian Prime Ministers’ Regular Meeting with his counterpart, Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. More than 20 agreements were signed to boost bilateral cooperation in fields such as high-speed railway and nuclear power stations.
A joint statement released after their meeting emphasized further cooperation in major projects, including the 280-seat, wide-body commercial aircraft that is being jointly developed with Russia. The plane will make its first test flight by 2020 and be delivered in 10 years, according to an announcement last week by Commercial Aircraft Corp of China.
“While the cooperation between Beijing and Moscow has already yielded fruitful results in various areas, there remains great potential to be tapped in fields such as energy and neighboring areas,” Jiang said.
He added that since China is revitalizing its old industrial bases in the northeast and Russia has a strategy to develop its Far East region, the two countries could work toward interconnection and mutual investment between the areas.
“The two countries could also seek more space for energy cooperation in terms of industrial chains, including investment in energy-related projects and joint exploration of gas and oil,” Jiang said.