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Chinese premier's visit to boost cooperation with Russia
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Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao is to pay an official visit to Russia from Monday, during which he will attend the 13th regular meeting between Chinese and Russian prime ministers from Oct. 27 to Oct. 29 at the invitation of his counterpart Vladimir Putin.

The mechanism of regular meetings between the two prime ministers, consisting of three branches covering the prime ministers' meeting, cultural cooperation and energy resources negotiation, is of the highest standard in China's foreign relations.

Wen's visit, given the context of global financial crisis, will further promote the substantial cooperation between the two neighbors and their strategic partnership of cooperation, observers believe.


Wen's visit to Moscow, along with other meetings between Chinese President Hu Jintao and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, indicated the close political ties between the two countries.

Chinese and Russian diplomats unveiled the boundary markers for the eastern section of their border at Heixiazi Island earlier this month, settling the last territorial issue left over for historical reasons and clearing all the political obstacles for further cooperation.

Russia is also the first country that offered aid, rescue and medical teams to China, where a devastating earthquake claimed tens of thousands of lives in its southwest Sichuan Province in May. Some 1,000 Chinese children from the quake-hit regions were also invited to Russian resorts for rehabilitation.

All of these helped to seed and spread friendship between the two peoples, which could be felt as many Chinese cheered for Russian athletes during the Beijing Olympics in August.

The two permanent members of the United Nations Security Council also cooperated closely on the world arena, which has helped safeguard their national interests and preserve world peace and stability as well, analysts say.


Thanks to their reciprocal and booming economies, China-Russia trade has entered a fast track of development, so has their two-way investment and technological cooperation.

Bilateral trade volume surged by 23 percent year on year in the first nine months of 2008 to hit 43 billion U.S. dollars, paving the way for reaching the set target of 60 billion-80 billion dollars in 2010, according to Chinese official figures.

Both Chinese and Russian leaders attached importance to the cooperation in the energy sector. The gas-oil-rich Russia has served as China's major supplier and China has been its big buyer.

The energy resources negotiation mechanism at vice premiers' level, which was initiated by President Hu and Medvedev in a bid to deepen energy cooperation, started in July this year.


China and Russia also carried out a series of cooperation in cultural and scientific sectors, with China's manned-space mission topping the list.

In a bid to promote humanitarian and regional exchange and cooperation, China is to host a Year of Russia in 2009 and Russia will host the Year of China in 2010.

"This visit will help increase Sino-Russian mutual trust in politics, deepen pragmatic cooperation in various fields, promote friendship between the two peoples, and lift the Sino-Russian strategic partnership of cooperation to a new level," said Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Li Hui.

(Xinhua News Agency October 26, 2008)

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