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354 words - March 25, 2013 | © DiploNews, all rights reserved.
Russia has been the destination of Mr. Xi Jinping's first visit abroad since taking office as President of the People's Republic of China. His Russian counterpart, Mr. Vladimir Putin, said his country "greatly values this symbolic gesture which unquestionably reflects the special strategic nature of the relations" between Russia and China.
The Prime Minister, Mr. Dmitry Medvedev, echoed the "special thanks" and announced that over 30 documents were signed during the Chinese leader's visit. "Our relations are developing along the path of strategic partnership and cooperation and we have already achieved impressive results," Mr. Medvedev told Mr. Xi. "My state visit demonstrates the high level and particular nature of all-around partnership and strategic cooperation in Chinese-Russian relations," Mr. Xi said.
After stating that "China and Russia have similar or identical positions on key international and regional issues," the talks mostly focused on trade and economic cooperation. Continuing their "close cooperation in high-tech fields such as outer space exploration, information technology, aircraft manufacturing, and energy, including nuclear energy," the two countries hope their bilateral trade will soon reach USD 100 billion, "and in the not too distant future USD 150 billion," said Mr. Putin. "On the eve of my visit to Russia, the two sides already essentially reached breakthrough agreements on additional oil supplies, pipeline construction and the import of Russian liquefied natural gas," President Xi indicated.
Russian Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu and his Chinese counterpart Chang Wanquan stressed bilateral defense cooperation is a also key part of China-Russia relations. "China is ready to work with Russia to tap the potentials and expand the scope of bilateral defense cooperation, so as to lift it to a new level," Mr. Chang said.
On a less strategic tone, 2013 will be the Year of Chinese Tourism in the Russian Federation, reciprocating the Year of Russian Tourism in China which took place in 2012. "Russia is one of the first countries that started sinological studies and is now a world leader in this area," Mr. Xi reminded an audience of Russian sinologists and Chinese-learning students.
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