Chinese vice premier wraps up Russia trip with big investment projects

Source:Xinhua Published: 2015-6-20 16:13:39

Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Gaoli concluded his trip to Russia on Saturday morning after the two countries reached deals on a number of large-scale investment projects.He also met with President Vladimir Putin, who reaffirmed his plan to visit Beijing in September for activities marking the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression and the World Anti-Fascist War.

Zhang was here to attend the annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, which brought together Putin and more than 6,000 others from around the world.

Zhang said that his visit to Russia was aimed at implementing the consensuses reached by the presidents of the two countries and preparing both for Chinese President Xi Jinping's attendance at two upcoming summits and for the 20th meeting between the heads of government of the two countries.

The emerging-market bloc of BRICS -- Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa -- and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) are both to hold a summit in Ufa, capital of Russia's Bashkortostan Republic, in early July.

During his visit, Zhang also co-chaired the second meeting of the China-Russia Investment Cooperation Committee with Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Igor Shuvalov, during which the two sides compiled a list of additional large-scale cooperation projects they plan to carry out in the near future.

Zhang and Shuvalov also witnessed the signing of a contract between Chinese and Russian companies to design a high-speed railway between Moscow and the southeastern Russian city of Kazan.

Zhang said the two sides should implement the large-scale projects as early as possible so as to advance mutual investment. He called for greater results in bilateral cooperation on energy, agriculture, space and the development of Russia's Far East region, among many other areas.

According to official statistics, China's investment in Russia has been growing steadily over the past few years. The volume, including those via third countries, totaled nearly 33 billion US dollars by 2014.

The Russian side expressed readiness to expand bilateral practical cooperation into wider areas.

Putin said Russia will strengthen all-round cooperation with China in politics, trade, economy, culture, people-to-people exchanges, high technologies, infrastructure development and international affairs.

He added that his country will also actively advance cooperation on the integration of the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) and the Silk Road Economic Belt initiative.

Zhang stressed that fiscal and financial cooperation should be a key area to be strengthened in the two sides' practical cooperation, and that China and Russia should launch and broaden cooperation on currency swaps as well as local currency settlement, investment and financing.

The two countries should step up cooperation to integrate the China-proposed Silk Road Economic Belt initiative and Russia's aspiration under the EAEU framework, said Zhang, urging the two sides to set up a mechanism to discuss specific areas and projects for the integration.

Russia was the first leg of Zhang's four-nation trip, which will also take him to Lithuania, Serbia and Kazakhstan.

Posted in: Diplomacy

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