Li’s Russia visit to widen space for cooperation

By Yang Sheng Source:Global Times Published: 2019/9/10 19:08:15

Beijing, Moscow ‘to react to unilateralism’ protectionism: diplomat

The first highway bridge between China and Russia is expected to open in October. With a length of 1,283 meters and a width of 14.7 meters, the bridge across the Heilongjiang River stretches from Heihe, a border city in Northeast China's Heilongjiang Province, to the Russian city of Blagoveshchensk. Photo: VCG

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang will visit Russia from September 16 to 18, the Chinese Foreign Ministry announced Monday, and due to the ongoing trade war between China and the US, as well as the strategic pressures that both Beijing and Moscow are receiving from Washington, Chinese experts noted that Li Keqiang's visit will further strengthen and broaden the China-Russia strategic partnership. 

The Chinese premier's visit will open up broader space for pragmatic cooperation between the two countries in the new era and boost bilateral ties, a senior ministry diplomat said Monday, the Xinhua News Agency reported.

At the invitation of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, Li will pay an official visit to Russia next week and co-chair the 24th regular meeting between Chinese and Russian heads of government with Medvedev, Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Le Yucheng said at a press briefing on Monday.

National flags of China and Russia are seen in the Red Square, Moscow, Russia. Photo: Xinhua

The visit takes place as the two countries are embracing the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties and ushering in a new era in their relations. Noting that the China-Russia relationship has become more mature, stable and tenacious over the past 70 years, Le said it is now a major-country relationship featuring the highest degree of mutual trust, coordination and strategic value.

Due to the high-level mutual trust and the common strategic concerns toward the US, China and Russia will definitely further strengthen their cooperation and coordination and this is not only benefiting the two countries but also stabilizing the international order, Li Haidong, a professor at the Beijing-based China Foreign Affairs University's institute of international relations in Beijing, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

China is using its diplomatic power and international influence to balance the impact and losses caused by the trade war that the US had initiated, and it is a significant countermeasure to the US to expand and broaden trade cooperation with other major powers including Russia, Li noted. 

Two major goals 

The upcoming meeting between the two countries' heads of government will focus on two major objectives, Le said. 

The first is to promote the implementation of the major consensus reached by the two countries' heads of state, deepen integration of interests and consolidate the material basis of bilateral relations.

"Both sides have decided to hold China-Russia year of scientific and technological innovation from 2020 to 2021 [in China and Russia in turns], and the two countries' heads of state have reached consensus on increasing the bilateral trade volume to $200 billion by 2024," Le said.

The second is to voice the two countries' support and contribute wisdom to safeguarding multilateralism, an open economy, the liberalization and facilitation of trade and investment, Le said.

The two sides will issue a "powerful response to the ideological trend of unilateralism, protectionism and de-globalization in the current international arena," Le said.

Yang Jin, an associate research fellow at the department of Russia-Eastern Europe-Central Asia studies of the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences in Beijing, told the Global Times that "to increase the trade volume, China and Russia should expand their cooperation into more new fields including finance, logistics and the digital economy while at the same time further strengthening traditional cooperation on energy, aerospace, aviation and the military industry."

More efforts needed

Amid the ongoing US-initiated trade war against China, Russian Economy Development Minister Maksim Oreshkin suggested China switch to the Russian market to replace US products, Russia Today reported on August 7.

Although both China and Russia have a strong will to promote trade cooperation, at this moment, Russian products and its market cannot totally replace those of the US, Yang said. 

"China-Russia trade now mainly focuses on energy. When it goes to other sectors like agricultural products such as meat and wine, the two sides still need to make more efforts to solve many problems such as different quarantine standards."

The Chinese premier's visit to Russia will help the two sides deal with obstacles restraining China-Russia trade and transfer the strong will for increasing trade into real profits, Yang noted.

During his visit, Li Keqiang will hold talks with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in St. Petersburg and sign a joint communiqué of the 24th regular meeting between Chinese and Russian heads of government. Li Keqiang will also meet Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow, Xinhua said.

Posted in: DIPLOMACY

blog comments powered by Disqus