Vice Premier Li Keqiang on Thursday began his official visit to Russia. During his five-day visit, Li will meet with Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Prime Minister and President-elect Vladimir Putin, Chairman of Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko, and Chairman of State Duma Sergei Naryshkin. He will hold talks with the Russian leaders to discuss important issues concerning both sides.
Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang (L) is welcomed upon his arrival in Moscow, Russia, April 26, 2012. [Huang Jingwen/Xinhua]
Li will hold talks with the Russian leaders to address important issues, with the aim of enhancing cooperation in investment, joint processing and manufacturing projects, and technological exchanges, said Deputy Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping on Monday in Beijing.
The Sino-Russian relationship has seen unprecedented progress in recent years. China and Russia are each other's biggest and most important strategic partners. Both value opportunities created in each other's development and set the growth of bilateral ties as their diplomatic priority.
The two countries' leaderships have set targets for bilateral trade at US$100 billion by 2015 and US$200 billion by 2020. Sergei Sanakoyev, head of the Russian-Chinese Center of Trade and Economic Cooperation in Moscow, said Li's visit to Russia would be crucial to both sides. He said he had strong confidence in the secular growth of bilateral trade and hoped that both sides could further improve trade structure and develop new modes of cooperation.
Feng Yujun, director of Institute of Russian Studies with China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations, said the Sino-Russian relations reached a new milestone after more than 20 years of development. As two emerging economies, China and Russia were highly influential strategic actors on the global stage in this time of change.
At present, economic growth, stability and people's livelihood are focuses for both China and Russia. Feng said both sides share many common interests on fields including economic development, maintaining domestic stability and promoting the reform of international orders.
Therefore, Li's visit will focus on economic cooperation. A lot of cooperative agreements are expected to be reached during the visit, which will bring bilateral trade to a new height. Moreover, the two sides will explore further cooperation on investment, infrastructure construction, energy, finance and modern agriculture.
Extensive contact with the Russian people will also be a goal for Li's visit. He will meet with business leaders, World War II veterans and address an audience at Moscow State University. He will also visit Russia's Kazan City and meet local leaders of the Volga Federal District.
This will be the first visit by a Chinese leader since Russia's presidential election in March. Later this year, China will elect its new leadership in the 18th National Congress of CPC. Under such circumstances, Feng said it would be important for Li's visit to help to inject new vitality and maintain a good momentum in the Sino-Russian relations.
The key to continued Sino-Russian strategic partnership is economic development. Under a changing global environment, the two countries must find the path toward expanding their cooperation to a broader scope and tapping into their productive potentials with new technology, in order to achieve mutual growth.