BEIJING — China and Russia have actively promoted pragmatic cooperation in various fields, especially achieving deals on many strategic programs, whose implementation keeps lifting bilateral cooperation to higher levels.
During Premier Li Keqiang’s official visit to the northern neighbor this month, where he also attended the 21st China-Russia Prime Ministers’ Regular Meeting, the two sides vowed to enhance pragmatic cooperation between them, and align the Belt and Road Initiative of China and the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) with each other.
The Belt and Road Initiative comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road and aspires to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along the ancient Silk Road routes. The EEU groups Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Russia.
As Chinese ambassador to Russia Li Hui said, China-Russia pragmatic cooperation, featuring characters of strategy, stability and long-term, is a strong engine and solid foundation for promoting bilateral relationship, and goes in line with the fundamental interests of the two countries.
The alignment of the Belt and Road Initiative with the EEU is in practical implementation of plans for jointly building an innovative, open, coherent and inclusive global economy, and will add new vigor and vitality into each other’s development, revitalization, and economic transformation and upgrade.
In a recent meeting of the EEU, all five members expressed support for carrying out cooperation with China within the framework of construction of the Belt.
The Chinese ambassador to Russia said the integration is meant to unlock the potential of economic complementarity between China and Russia, and contribute to the economic recovery of the EEU member states as well as the countries along the ancient Silk Road and across Eurasia.
Sergey Sanakoev, president of the Russian-Chinese Analytical Center, said the pairing of the EEU and the China’s Belt and Road Initiative “means that our countries are ready to develop transport infrastructure in the vast territory of Eurasia, which includes major energy projects, increasing investment cooperation, as well as the possible creation in Russia of new industries for future sale.”
MAJOR STRATEGIC PROJECTS
Major strategic projects are of top priority in China-Russia pragmatic cooperation. The two countries have established close cooperative relations in investment, energy, high-speed railway construction, aviation, aerospace, infrastructure development and Far East exploitation.
The construction of the China-Russia natural gas pipeline through the eastern route, with the first deliveries of gas scheduled for 2018, is among the most important projects which promote new growth points for the cooperation between China and Russia.
Another important bilateral project is the construction of a bridge over the Heilongjiang River (the Amur River) between the Chinese city of Tongjiang and the Russian village of Nizhneleninskoye.
Sanakoev said there is a great potential in bilateral cooperation in construction of transportation infrastructure such as roads, bridges, railways, tunnels, airports and ports. Moreover, such cooperation will benefit Russia’s economic development and be granted China’s financial support.
At the 11th China International Aviation and Aerospace Exhibition held in Zhuhai City in south China’s Guangdong province on Nov 1-6, a long-range wide-body aircraft model, developed by China’s Commercial Aircraft Corporation and Russia’s United Aircraft Corporation, was revealed and caught widespread public attention.
Currently, jointly developing the long-range wide-body aircraft is a major strategic project of the two countries.
Vassili Kashin, an expert with Russia’s strategic and technical analysis center, said that Russia has accumulated experiences in manufacturing wide-body aircraft, and China has made visible progress in the civil aviation industry. Therefore, the joint research and manufacture project is feasible and will enhance the economic security of the two countries.
In the development of their comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership, China and Russia have seen bilateral relations develop in a sustained, stable and sound manner, while their pragmatic cooperation has kept bearing new fruits.