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Energy key topic during Putin's visit to China

By Zhou Wa (China Daily)

08:11, May 30, 2012

In the spirit of China and Russia taking risks and profits together, China maintains a positive attitude toward natural gas negotiations between the two countries, the Chinese Deputy Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping said on Tuesday.

Energy cooperation will be a key topic for Russian president Vladimir Putin during his visit to China from June 5 to 7, the minister said.

China and Russia are negotiating a natural gas deal under a Chinese initiative.

Cheng made the remarks at the press briefing held by the Russian Information Agency Novosti on Tuesday, saying there will be a breakthrough in the natural gas negotiations.

Russian Ambassador to China Sergei Razov also attended the briefing and said the price for the natural gas would not be below the price for the oil deal between the two countries.

The eighth China-Russia energy negotiation will be held on Friday in Beijing. Vice-Premier Wang Qishan and his Russian counterpart Arkady Dvorkovitch confirmed the date over the phone on Monday.

The negotiation will pave the way for the meeting between Putin and Chinese leaders as he pays his first visit to China since becoming Russian president for the third time.

At the invitation of President Hu Jintao, Putin will pay a state visit to China and attend the 12th Meeting of the Council of Heads of Member States of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Beijing on June 6 and 7, said Razov.

Putin’s visit will focus on cooperation in energy, economics, trade and investment between the two countries, said the ambassador.

International and regional affairs of mutual concern, including the nuclear issue on the Korean Peninsula and the revival of Afghanistan, are also among the topics to be discussed, he added.

Cooperation agreements will be signed by the two governments, and by ministries and enterprises during Putin's visit, said Razov.

But he refused to specify the possible deals, saying that the Russian side is keeping in touch with the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Putin’s visit is important for the development of Sino-Russian ties in the future, said Cheng, adding that China and Russia always support each other on issues of mutual interest.

According to Cheng, China and Russia will sign a statement to deepen the comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation between the two countries, which will create a new concept for security in the Asia-Pacific region.

Both Cheng and Razov opposed the idea of maintaining the security of one country by threatening the security of others.

China is the first country outside the Commonwealth of Independent States that Putin will visit since taking office as Russian president on May 7.

Putin’s choice of China as his first destination outside the CIS indicates the value he places on Sino-Russian ties, said Xing Guangcheng, an expert on Russian studies with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

Wang Huazhong and Wang Zijian contributed to this story


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