Russia-China trade to reach record $100 billion by year-end as ties grow in all sectors – Putin
Trade between Moscow and Beijing has grown 31 percent this year and is projected to reach the $100 billion target, said Russian President Vladimir Putin during a meeting with China’s President Xi Jinping in Beijing.
Energy is the key sector of cooperation between the two countries, according to Putin. “Russia remains the largest supplier of fuel to the Chinese market. Last year, we supplied more than 50 million tons of oil. By April, this number increased by another 26 percent,” said the Russian president.
Work on the construction of the Eastern Route pipeline from Russia to China is on schedule, and companies from both countries are participating at Russia’s $27 billion LNG plant in Yamal, Putin added.
The countries are also building ties in the nuclear energy sector. “Russia and China have just signed an agreement on the construction of another two units and the Tianwan nuclear power plant in China by Rosatom. Russia will also build a brand-new nuclear power site in China,” he said.
Putin emphasized the benefits for China of Russian know-how in a demo fast-neutron reactor to be built in the country. Fast neutron reactors can reduce the total radio toxicity of nuclear waste, and dramatically reduce the waste’s lifetime. “We don’t have this type of cooperation with any other country. We are talking about sensitive and unique technologies developed by Russian scientists,” Putin added.
Chinese President Xi Jinping noted the growing trade and development ties between Russia and China and that a number of contracts have been signed during Putin’s visit. “China is Russia’s largest trading partner. We facilitate projects in investments, energy, transportation infrastructure, aerospace and aircraft manufacturing,”said the Chinese president.
The countries are working together on One Belt, One Road initiative, said Xi. They have also achieved tangible results in cooperation within the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union, which has signed several agreements with China, he added.
The two leaders said Moscow and Beijing are also focusing on cooperation in infrastructure. The countries are interested in developing Russia’s Northern Sea Route, as well as the Trans-Siberian and Baikal-Amur railways.
From the Arctic to Deep Space: What Putin, Xi Agreed on at Beijing Talks
President Putin’s June 8 visit to Beijing saw the signing of multiple agreements on oil and gas development, nuclear power, space, finance, as well as promises to deepen strategic cooperation and coordination in the face of “a complex international situation.” Speaking to Sputnik, Chinese and Russian observers outlined the scope of the agreements.
The most heavily cited takeaways from Putin’s meeting with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, their 25th to date, included $3 billion in new nuclear energy cooperation projects, a $1 billion industrial investment fund, and, in a gesture which faced mockery and derisionin Western media, Xi’s awarding Putin with China’s first-ever Friendship Medal, China’s highest honor for foreigners.
But the breadth of the two leaders’ discussions went far beyond that.
Science & Technology
Speaking to Sputnik China, Dr. Wu Enyuan, director of the Beijing-based Institute of Russian, Eastern European & Central Asian Studies at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, said that the Russian president’s visit reflected a deepening level of bilateral cooperation, especially in science and technology.
“The fact that the leaders of China and Russia signed a number of agreements on cooperation after their meeting suggests that scientific and technical cooperation between China and Russia is reaching a new, higher level,” Wu said.
“It is becoming deeper, and the areas of cooperation are expanding…. This cooperation will ensure that in the future, China and Russia will take the leading positions in the world in the fields of space and new energy. These industries are at the forefront of a new technological revolution, of advanced scientific research.” This, Wu stressed, was the most important tangible result of Putin’s visit.