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Interview: Putin's visit to facilitate development of bilateral ties: Chinese ambassador

(Xinhua)

10:02, October 10, 2011

MOSCOW, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) -- Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's upcoming visit to China will facilitate the comprehensive development of the China-Russia strategic cooperative partnership, Chinese Ambassador to Russia Li Hui told Xinhua on Sunday.

Thanks to the efforts from both sides, recent years have seen China-Russia relations reach unprecedentedly high levels, Li said, adding that the relationship between the two world giants has set a good example for international relations, especially relations between big powers.

Putin's upcoming visit will be another significant event in the development of bilateral relations following the exchange of visits between Chinese President Hu Jintao and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Li said.

Looking into the future, the ambassador proposed that each of the two sides continue supporting the other's choice of development mode based on its own realities and backing the other's efforts in defending its core interests.

While exploring new fields of cooperation, the two countries should further expand their current mutually beneficial cooperation programs, Li said, expressing the hope that bilateral trade will reach 100 billion U.S. dollars by 2015 and 200 billion dollars by 2020.

In addition, China and Russia need to step up cooperation in energy, investment and scientific research among many other areas, the ambassador said.

With regards to international issues, Li said that as permanent members of the UN Security Council, both China and Russia shoulder special responsibilities in maintaining world peace and security.

Meanwhile, as key members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and leading emerging economies, the two countries play an important role in shaping a multi-polar world and enhancing democracy in international relations, he added.

China and Russia have a wide range of common interests in pushing forward the reform of the international financial system by increasing the representation of developing countries, Li said.

He added that an increasingly closer China-Russia strategic coordination in international issues will not only serve their fundamental interests, but contribute to the formation of a more equitable world order.

The ambassador also called for closer cultural exchanges between China and Russia, saying the reciprocal "Tourism Year" activities, to be held in Russia in 2012 and in China in 2013, will further deepen the understanding and trust between the two peoples.

Despite changes in the international arena, consolidating the China-Russia strategic cooperative partnership remains a priority in China's foreign policy, said the ambassador.

Recalling that Hu's historic visit to Russia in June charted the course for the future development of bilateral ties, Li said he is confident that Putin's visit will inject new vigor into the process.

Putin is due to visit China on Tuesday and Wednesday. He will attend the 16th regular meeting between the two country's premiers.

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