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Senior Chinese delegation holds talks with Chinese merchants in Moscow
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09:27, July 26, 2009

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A senior Chinese delegation led by Vice Minister of Commerce Gao Hucheng held talks here on Saturday with Chinese merchants over the handling of the June 29 closure of the market in Moscow.

Ling Ji, deputy director of the Department of Europe under the Ministry of Commerce, introduced at the meeting the multi-layer negotiations between the delegation and relevant Russian ministries and departments, including Federal Migration Service, Economic Development Ministry, Foreign Ministry, the Investigation Committee at the Prosecutor General's Office, Federal Customs Service and the Moscow municipal government.

The delegation comprising officials from the ministries of commerce and foreign affairs, the General Administration of Customs and trade officials from Zhejiang, Hei Longjiang, Fujian and Hebei provinces arrived here on Wednesday.

About 150 Chinese merchants and a large quantity of their goods were seized in a crackdown on smuggling at the Cherkizovsky Market, Moscow's biggest wholesale market, where tens of thousands of Chinese vendors had been operating.

Ling said the delegation has urged the Russian side to respect legal rights of Chinese enterprises and merchants, protect their personal and property safety, and work out as soon as possible plans to jointly crack down on "grey customs clearance," regulate customs declaration channels and raise customs clearance efficiency.

The delegation has also visited the closed market to size up the situation, said Ling, and provincial officials have expressed solicitude to representatives of Chinese merchants.

Ling also introduced the broad consensus reached between China and Russia through negotiations, as well as Russia's specific arrangements over the market shutdown.

Li Huilai, charge d'Affaires of the Chinese Embassy in Russia, said the only way out for Chinese merchants is to transform operational patterns into standardized, legal ways.

Li said the Chinese Embassy will by every necessary means continue to provide service for Chinese compatriots in Russia.

Representatives of Chinese merchants thanked the Chinese government and its people for their serious concern, saying they were satisfied with the remarkable work done by the delegation.

They also pledged to discard irregular operational ways and contribute more to bilateral trade and economic exchanges.


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