Sino-Ukrainian partnership gains new vigor in 2017

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The year 2017 marks the 25th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Ukraine, and has seen the partnership between the two countries gain new vigor.

China and Ukraine have strengthened political dialogue, boosted trade, deepened cultural cooperation, and launched joint projects under the Belt and Road Initiative.


China-Ukraine ties were given a breath of fresh air in mid-January, when Chinese President Xi Jinping met his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko.

Local analysts held the view that the talks between the two leaders, which took place ahead of the opening session of the 47th annual meeting of the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, have set a positive tone for the future partnership between the two countries.

"Over the past several years, after the shift of power in Ukraine, many experts have repeatedly stated that it is very important for the (sake of) Sino-Ukrainian relations to revive the political dialogue at the highest level. That's why this meeting is vitally important in terms of political decisions," said Viktor Kiktenko, head of the Ukrainian Association of Sinologists.

The meeting was followed by several ministerial visits as well as the establishment of cooperation between the youth organizations of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and Ukraine's ruling party Petro Poroshenko Bloc (PPB) "Solidarity."

The political dialogue culminated in the third session of the China-Ukraine Intergovernmental Commission on bilateral cooperation in December in Kiev, where the two sides signed an action plan on jointly developing the Belt and Road Initiative.

The commission was co-chaired by Chinese Vice Premier Ma Kai, whose visit to Kiev was seen by Ukrainian experts as evidence that the political trust between China and Ukraine has risen.

"This visit is the result of years of negotiations on coordinating positions between our countries. I believe that this is a great success," said Iryna Nikorak, a secretary of Ukraine's parliamentary group on China-Ukraine relations.


Despite the global economic uncertainties, China and Ukraine have managed to expand their trade in 2017 due to the complementary nature of their markets.

According to Ukraine's statistics, the trade volume of the two countries has accumulated to 7.03 billion U.S. dollars this year till November, exceeding the amount of the entire year 2016 by 8 percent.

As a result, China has become Ukraine's third-largest trading partner after the European Union and Russia.

This year, Ukrainian exporters delivered more than 220 new products to the Chinese market, with agricultural goods leading the list.

Ukrainian meat, dairy products, vegetable oil and juices found consumers in China, which in turn contributed to Ukraine's economic prosperity and supported China's rising demand for healthy food.

In Ukraine, Chinese goods continued to enjoy immense popularity, with electronics and household appliances topping sales due to their high quality and reasonable prices.

During the 11-month period, China's export volume to Ukraine has increased to 5.05 billion dollars, accounting for about 11 percent of Ukraine's total imports.

It may be too early to make predictions, but experts hope that trade between the countries will further increase next year.

"Taking into account the potential of our cooperation, we believe that we can significantly increase bilateral trade. We hope that next year, we will launch sectoral dialogues in the priority areas and they would bring practical results," said Natalia Mykolska, deputy minister of economic development and trade of Ukraine.

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