Xi's Russia visit enhances mutual trust: FM

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Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Russia has enhanced bilateral strategic mutual trust and support, and expanded practical cooperation between the two countries, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi told media on Sunday.

Wang made the remarks while introducing to reporters travelling with the Chinese official delegation the fruits of Xi's first foreign trip as China's new head of state, which had taken him to Russia, Tanzania, South Africa, and the Republic of the Congo.

The Chinese top diplomat said choosing Russia as the first stop of Xi's tour has shown the high level and distinctiveness of the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination.

In Russia, Xi and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin had spent eight hours together in meetings and exchanges that could be characterized as frank, practical and congenial, Wang said, adding the two leaders reached important consensus on strategic coordination and set the direction and outlined key sectors for future cooperation.

The two countries have made it clear that they will support each other in promoting their respective development and national renewal, safeguarding core interests, and independently choosing their own development paths and social and political systems, the foreign minister said.

The two sides agreed that they will closely coordinate in international and regional affairs, uphold the principles of the UN Charter, and jointly promote democracy in international relations, he said.

In Moscow, Xi also visited the Russian defense ministry and the commanding center of the Russian armed forces. He is the first foreign head of state to have made such a tour.

On March 23, Xi delivered a speech at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations, during which he expounded on China's view on the current international situation and its position on international relations.

He called for building a new type of international relations with win-win cooperation at the core.

Wang said China's positions on major international issues as Xi declared in his speech have win high degree of support from the Russian side.

China and Russia, during the visit, also promoted their practical cooperation.

The 32 cooperation agreements signed by the two sides are dubbed as the "contracts of the century" because they are enormous in value and cover a long period of time, he said.

"The energy cooperation covers such areas as petroleum, natural gas, nuclear power, electricity, coal and new sources of energy, and runs through the industry both of its up and down streams," he added.

Beijing and Moscow will also make great strides in a number of big projects of strategic importance, Wang said.

The two countries will work to expand their cooperation from a pure buying-selling relationship to joint research and manufacturing, he said, adding they will also try to transform the current trade structure that heavily features energy and resources into a new model that also focuses on such sectors as manufacturing, high-tech and aerospace.

China and Russia also reached key consensus on bilateral cooperation at local levels, according to the Chinese official.

The visit have promoted people-to-people and cultural exchanges and mutual understanding between the two countries, Wang said, adding President Xi reached out widely to all walks of life in Russia during the visit.

"The people-to-people and cultural exchanges are the solid foundation for the development of bilateral ties," he quoted President Xi as saying.

The two sides agreed they will rotate in holding the China-Russia Year of Youth Exchanges in 2014 and 2015 and greatly increase the number of exchange students between the two countries, Wang said.

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