China, Russia eye wide-ranging cooperation

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Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) and Russian President Vladimir Putin sign a joint statement aimed at expanding cooperation in all fields and coordinating diplomatic efforts to cement the China-Russia all-round strategic partnership of cooperation after their talks in Shanghai, east China, May 20, 2014. [Xinhua] 

China and Russia on Tuesday pledged to boost cooperation in a wide range of fields, including finance, trade, energy and transportation infrastructure.

The pledge was part of a joint statement issued by President Xi Jinping and visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Putin is in China for the 4th summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) in Shanghai and a state visit at the invitation of President Xi Jinping.

Xi held talks with Putin in Shanghai on Tuesday.

According to the joint statement, the two countries will expand local currency settlement for bilateral trade, cross-border investment and financing and will strengthen exchanges for the formulation of macro-economic policies.

The two pledged to increase bilateral trade to 100 billion U.S. dollars by 2015 and 200 billion U.S. dollars by 2020 from nearly 90 billion U.S. dollars last year.

The two will work to ensure balanced trade, optimize trade structure and expand mutual investment in fields like transportation infrastructure, mining development, and housing projects in Russia, said the statement.

The two sides vowed to deepen cooperation in the petroleum industry, kick-start Russia's supply of natural gas to China as soon as possible and jointly develop coal mines in Russia. The two also will consider jointly building power plants in Russia to increase power supply to China.

The two countries will strengthen cooperation in major projects in the peaceful use of nuclear energy, civil aviation, research on basic aerospace technologies, satellite navigation and manned space flight, said the statement.

The two will speed up the construction of cross-border transportation infrastructure, including bridges on cross-border rivers, and Russia will facilitate China's goods shipment using its railway networks, ports and through the Northern Sea route, said the statement.

The countries also pledged constructive cooperation in the use and protection of water resources in cross-border rivers as well as in the establishment of cross-border nature reserves to protect biodiversity.

Cooperation on multiple platforms

China and Russia also pledged to step up cooperation on multiple regional platforms.

The two countries paid high attention to the cooperation under the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), including in the fight against terrorism, separatism, extremism, arms trafficking, illegal drug trade and organized cross-border crimes, and safeguarding of international information safety, according to the declaration.

The two said it is the SCO's priority to promote regional economic cooperation, improve investment environment in its member states and strengthen exchanges among the industrial circles.

The Eurasian Union, scheduled to be established on January 1, 2015, will help promote regional security and stability and deepen mutually beneficial cooperation, said the statement.

Russia spoke highly of the Silk Road Economic Belt initiative proposed by China and the two will seek conjunction points between the economic belt and the Eurasian Union, such as the building of transportation infrastructure, it said.

In addition, the two countries said the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum is an effective mechanism in promoting regional economic integration.

The two pledged to strengthen coordination and cooperation under the framework of the APEC and to jointly promote the economic growth in the Asia-Pacific region. Russia will closely work with China to take advantage of the meeting to promote economic integration, reforms and growth and building of transportation infrastructure, it said.

The two also promised to deepen cooperation under the framework of CICA, saying CICA is an effective mechanism in holding talks in safeguarding regional peace and security.

Russia welcomed China as CICA chair from 2014 to 2016, saying the chairmanship can help promote the implementation of trust-building measures, said the statement.

The two will closely coordinate their stance under the framework of CICA and roll out shared proposals on the building of security framework and safeguarding of stability and development in the Asia-Pacific region, it added.

(Xinhua contributed to the story)

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