Senior Chinese, Russian officials pave way for meeting of gov't heads

20:57, October 12, 2009      

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Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan (L) meets with Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov during the 13th conference of a joint commission for the regular meetings between Chinese and Russian prime ministers in Beijing, capital of China, on Oct. 12, 2009. (Xinhua/Li Xueren)

Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan said Monday that China and Russia should steadily expand mutual trust and economic cooperation on the principle of mutual understanding and benefit.

The two countries should improve the quality of bilateral economic and trade cooperation, fully advance their collaboration in finance, transportation, customs and aerospace and other fields, flesh out the China-Russia strategic partnership and promote the common development and prosperity.

Wang made the remarks while co-chairing a meeting with his Russian counterpart Alexander Zhukov, to pave the way for the talks between the heads of the two governments.

Wang said his meeting with Zhukov was successful as it defined the key areas and targets of the next-phase cooperation, and made full preparations for the 14th regular meeting between prime ministers of the two countries.

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is scheduled to arrive in Beijing Monday evening for a three-day official visit. He will hold talks with Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao on Tuesday.

This will be Putin's first official visit to China since he took office as prime minister in May 2008.

Wang stressed that China-Russia relations have reached an unprecedented height with progress achieved in all sectors and new development opportunities ahead.

Wang called on both sides to start from the current situation and jointly respond to the international financial crisis and world economic recession.

Bilateral trade totaled 56.83 billion U.S. dollars in 2008, making China Russia's third biggest trade partner while Russia became China's 11th.

Mentioning that China is Russia's crucial trade partner, Zhukov said bilateral trade expanded year on year thanks to their joint efforts. Both carried out fruitful cooperation in big projects, mutual investment and economic and trade cooperation, transportation and aerospace.

Zhukov said Russia would like to work with China to fully implement the leaders' consensus and agreements to seek more practical results from bilateral cooperation.

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