MOSCOW — The upcoming meeting between Premier Li Keqiang and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will give a new impetus to the development of bilateral relations, Chinese ambassador to Russia Li Hui said.
“This is a great event for Sino-Russian relations this year,” Li said in an interview with Xinhua ahead of the 21st regular meeting between the Chinese and Russian government heads, scheduled for Nov 7 in Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg.
The current China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination is mature and stable, and it has become a model for relations between major powers, Li said.
According to the ambassador, these relations feature mutual respect and equality in the political sphere, as well as comprehensive mutual benefit and win-win cooperation in the economic sphere.
They also demonstrate mutual trust and awareness of shared responsibility in the field of security, and see exchange of experience and mutual promotion of development in the cultural sphere, he added.
The efforts undertaken by China and Russia have increased bilateral trade by 1.8 percent to $31.72 billion in the first half of this year, Li said.
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, the ambassador noted.
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, Li said.
The ambassador also praised investments of various Chinese enterprises such as Haier in Russia.
“China and Russia have huge economies, strong industrial synergies, capacious markets, as well as a number of political, geopolitical and humanitarian advantages,” Li said.
The alignment of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative with the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) is a practical implementation of jointly building an innovative, open, coherent and inclusive global economy, which was put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping at the Hangzhou G20 summit in September, said the ambassador.
The integration is meant to unlock the potential of economic complementarity between China and Russia, and to contribute to the economic recovery of EEU member states as well as the countries along the ancient Silk Road and across Eurasia, Li said.
To achieve such goals, the ambassador offered the following four proposals.
First, the Chinese side is willing to actively carry out bilateral and regional cooperation with EEU member states by taking trade and investment liberalization and facilitation as a linking bridge, interconnectivity, production capacity cooperation and cultural exchanges as pillars, and mutually beneficial financial cooperation as a guarantee.
Second, China is willing to work with the Russian side to promote the mutually beneficial cooperation among EEU governments, enterprises, social organizations and civil groups in various forms, and jointly build a win-win platform accessible to multiple participants that covers various fields.
Third, China and Russia should jointly push forward the construction of the China-Mongolia-Russia economic corridor, the New Eurasian Land Bridge, and make good use of cooperation programs such as “the Northeast China -Russian Far East Mechanism” and “the Yangtze-Volga River Mechanism.”
Fourth, the relevant parties should make full use of financial organizations such as the Silk Road Fund, the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization Interbank Consortium, to broaden currency operations and increase mutual investment, the ambassador proposed.