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China, Russia Set for Future Cooperation

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao and visiting Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Yefimovich Fradkov drew up a blueprint of goals for future bilateral cooperation on Thursday, highlighting results already achieved, at the 10th Regular Prime Ministers' Meeting.

Wen described the current situation as being "the best development period in history."

"The formation of the Sino-Russian strategic and cooperative partnership and the signing of the Good-Neighborly Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation demonstrate the aspiration of the two sides to develop bilateral ties with strategic and long-term perspectives," he said.

He mentioned in particular the layout for implementing the Sino-Russian Good-Neighborly Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation, approved by the two heads of state last year.

According to Wen, the document sets out the direction for future development of bilateral ties. He added that the two governments were satisfied with the implementation of the layout.

The expansion of economic cooperation was high on the agenda of the meeting. According to Wen, the two sides have already inked 79 agreements. The value of bilateral trade soared from US$5.46 billion from the time of the first regular meeting to US$21.2 billion last year. "The figure is expected to hit US$28 billion this year," Wen said.

To boost cooperation still further, Wen proposed improving commodity structure and regular trade order; signing the agreement for the construction of the oil pipeline at the earliest possible date while enhancing power and nuclear power cooperation; signing a pact to protect and expand mutual investment; strengthening exchanges of scientific personnel and the transfer of scientific results; supporting cooperation along border regions; advancing educational, cultural, health, sports and tourism communication between the two countries; and holding a China Year in Russia and a Russia Year in China.

Fradkov also commended the "important role" played by the regular prime ministers' meeting. Fradkov said that through the joint military exercise in August, and the approval of the complementary agreement on the demarcation of borders in the eastern section, the two countries enhanced mutual trust and showed their commitment to tackling new challenges and threats, protecting fundamental interests and territorial integrity, and establishing a just and rational international order.

"Tasks ahead are still huge," he said. Fradkov called on the two sides to enhance cooperation on major issues and major projects, particularly in the fields of investment, energy, space, science and technology and telecommunications.

China and Russia have issued a joint statement on international order in the 21st century. The two prime ministers stressed that the statement is of great significance for pushing forward multi-polarization and promoting democratization in international relations and in the formation of a just and rational international order.

After the meeting, the two countries signed cooperation documents on language education, economic and trade cooperation and banking.

This is Fradkov's first China trip since he assumed the premiership. He is scheduled to meet other Chinese leaders today.

(Xinhua News Agency November 4, 2005)

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