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Diplomat Applauds Ties with China
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Igor Rogachev is considered a legend in the diplomatic world of Russia and China.


The man who served as Russia's ambassador to China for 13 years has just turned 75.


In fact, he has spent more than 20 years in China and speaks Putonghua fluently, and he likes Peking Opera and Chinese folk songs.


He is now a member of Russia's Federation Council, the upper house of parliament, and devotes most of his time to Russia-China relations.


The China-link runs in his family. His daughter is working in China for a Russian oil company, and his grandson is learning Chinese.


Learning Chinese and choosing a job that is associated with China is a "family tradition," Rogachev said.


"Russian and Chinese leaders made a very wise decision to organize the 'Year of Russia' and the 'Year of China'," he said.


The "years" of Russia and China are in conformity to the spirit of strategic partnership between the two countries and their future cooperation, he said.


These events are the first of their kind and helpful to exchanges between Russia and China, Rogachev said.


The "Year of Russia" in China in 2006 boosted bilateral ties in various areas, particularly in economic and trade cooperation, he said.


"Trade between Russia and China grew not only in the border regions, but also in the central, southern and western parts of China."


Russia didn't have extensive trade ties with China's Guangdong Province and Shanghai. But its annual trade volume with Guangdong today has reached US$3 billion, Rogachev said.


More than 60 Russian regional chiefs visited China last year, leading to a host of cooperation agreements, he said.


It's quite possible that two-way trade will meet the $60-billion target by 2010, after it touched a record high of US$33.4 billion last year, Rogachev said.


Speaking on the prospects of developing economic and trade ties between China and Russia, Rogachev said the high-tech sector has great potential, though Russia is ready for cooperation in transport, aerospace, and power sectors, too.


(China Daily March 26, 2007)

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