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China Bolsters up Marine Links with Russia

Chinese and Russian maritime co-operation may swell this week, following a two-day meeting in Beijing.

"There are about 40 intended co-operative items and I guess 20 of them will be put into practice after this meeting," said Liang Jinzhe, an official with the department of International Co-operation of the State Oceanic Administration.

The first China-Russia working group meeting on maritime co-operation started in Beijing yesterday as China reaffirmed its commitment to promote Sino-Russia co-operation in the field, said Sun Zhihui, deputy director of the State Oceanic Administration.

Sun said the comprehensive bilateral agreement covers a wide range of fields.

This week's meeting is the first concrete measure to implement the agreement, which will establish a solid foundation for further co-operation, Sun added.

The two-day meeting includes discussions on possible co-operation in eight areas including marine ecological environment protection, legislation on the use and protection of the ocean, marine information and data exchange and polar research.

The exact number of co-operative items is coming out today.

According to Liang, the administration is working hard to formulate plans to further marine development with other countries.

Marine co-operation agreements have been signed with over 20 countries, Liang said. The agreement with Russia is at the highest level and is the most comprehensive one.

Headed by Shiryaev Boris Konstantinovich, a senior official with the Ministry of Natural Resources of the Russian Federation, a group of 11 marine experts attended the meeting.
China and Russia signed a marine co-operation agreement on May 27, 2003.

Head of State Oceanic Administration Wang Shuguang and the Russian Minister of Natural Resources signed on behalf of their governments.

President Hu Jintao and Russian President Putin attended the signing ceremony.

(Xinhua News Agency November 10, 2004)

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