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China-Russia ties to enter ‘new stage’
March 8, 2019, 3:39 pm

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing on 14 May 2017 [PPIO]

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi has confirmed that President Xi Jinping will visit Russia and meet President Vladimir Putin to take their strategic ties to a “new stage”.

The two leaders and BRICS allies have met several times in the past year and share a very close view of world affairs. Both are strong proponents of multilateralism and both have opposed the US policy of isolationism.

Wang said that the world is a more stable place when China and Russia “stand together”.

“China-Russia cooperation in the spheres of trade and economy, energy, scientific and technical innovation, finance and investment, as well as agriculture and infrastructure construction are moving along a ‘high-speed highway,'” Chinese Ambassador to Russia Li Hui told Russian media.

Chinese-Russian relations were first established in 1949. Both countries will be holding a number of events to commemmorate their 70-year relationship.

In the past few years, and since establishing BRICS in 2008, the two countries have held numerous war exercises together.

Most noticeable, however, is how they boosted economic ties, particularly in the wake of European and US sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine and Crimea.

In May 2014, Putin and Xi singed a landmark $400 billion gas deal under which Gazprom will supply the China National Petroleum Corp (CNPC) 38 billion cubic meters (BCM) of natural gas every year for 30 years.

As of January 2019, the Power of Siberia natural gas pipeline is more than 80 per cent complete and runs over 1,600 kilometers.

Trade between BRICS allies China and Russia has also continued to surge since 2016.

Li said that the trade volume between the two had reached more than $107 billion in 2018, compared to $84 billion in 2016.

In the past few years, multi-sector ties have been strengthened between China and Russia.

Wang did not clarify whether the trip was to St Petersburg to attend the International Economic Forum or another trip scheduled for later in the year.

The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies