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Relations reach new heights

(China Daily)

13:20, April 28, 2012

Cooperation between China and Russia has huge potential, Vice-Premier Li Keqiang said in Moscow on Friday.

"The China-Russia all-around strategic partnership is unprecedented at the moment, and I believe the cooperation between the two countries could reach a new high, as there is a wide range of areas that we could jointly develop," said Li during his meeting with Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin.

"Of course, the way ahead is always not smooth, but we are good neighbors, good friends and good partners."

On Thursday, Li started his 10-day visit to Russia, Hungary, Belgium and the headquarters of the European Union to enhance trade and investment relations. Russia is the first stop, and Li is expected to stay in the nation for four days as the two countries will discuss the promotion of trade and investment and witness the signing of large-scale deals.

China is Russia's largest trade partner, and the second largest export market for Russia.

Despite European debt woes, China-Russia trade surged by 42.7 percent from a year earlier to $79.25 billion in 2011, outperforming the growth of 22.5 percent for China's foreign trade during the same period, according to the General Administration of Customs.

Li said in an article published in a Russian newspaper on Thursday that China and Russia could reap benefits from each other's growth and prosperity, as the two countries share common economic targets and their industries are highly complementary.

"There is no doubt that the level of the two nations' relationship is very high, reaching a historical high, as a result of the joint efforts," said Putin.

"Russia and China cooperate closely on the global stage, and the two nations are striving to develop economic and trade relations," Putin said.

On Friday, Li also met Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and is scheduled to attend a China-Russia investment and trade forum on Saturday.

The two sides are expected to witness trade and investment deals among governments and corporations in the coming days in agriculture, energy, transportation, telecommunication and high-tech.

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