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China, Russia to cement bilateral ties through local cooperation

(People's Daily)    09:35, September 14, 2018

A woman in traditional Chinese costume paints at a shop in Vladivostok, Russia on Sept. 11, 2018. (Photo by Du Shangze from People’s Daily)

Cooperation plans between China and Russia should rely on their local regions, be implemented in local regions and benefit local regions, Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday in Russia's Far Eastern port city of Vladivostok.

Xi made the remarks while attending a roundtable meeting on regional cooperation between the two countries on the sidelines of the Fourth Eastern Economic Forum (EEF).

The closer the local cooperation was, the more solid the foundation of the China-Russia mutually beneficial cooperation would become, he stressed.

Xi has always given priority to regional cooperation to cement China-Russia relations. Vladivostok was chosen by him as the first destination for his visit to Russia in March, 2010 as the then Vice President of China.

Former Governor of Primorsky Krai Sergey Darkin noted that he was impressed by Xi’s efficient and practical working style since he met Xi for the first time 8 years ago. Xi always placed high attention to China-Russia local cooperation, he added.

A photo exhibition on China-Russia economic and trade cooperation results opens in Vladivostok, Russia on Sept. 11, 2018. (Photo by Guan Kejiang from People’s Daily)

Darkin still remembers Xi’s remarks on the expansion and deepening of China-Russia sub-national cooperation during their meeting in 2010, and is very much inspired by Xi’s words that “to upgrade local cooperation strategies would benefit the people in neighboring areas of the two countries”.

The former Governor of Primorsky Krai noted that the Far East was a frontline for Russia’s cooperation with Asia-Pacific countries, illustrating that oil and gas pipelines, such as Power of Siberia, passed through this place before entering China.

Soybeans, milk and seafood from the Far East were gaining increasing popularity in China, and the number of cross-border tourists was also on a rise, he added.

Thanks to China’s proposal of the Belt and Road Initiative and Russia’s enhancing efforts on the development of the Far East, the two countries, linked by mountains and rivers, are accelerating their pace of bilateral cooperation.

Cranes manufactured by a maker from China’s Jiangsu province contributed a lot to the 2018 Russia FIFA World Cup held this June by renovating the stadiums in Moscow and St. Petersburg, as well as Sochi and Kaliningrad, Secretary of Jiangsu Provincial Party Committee Lou Qinjian shared the story at the EEF on Tuesday afternoon.

“Jiangsu is cheering for the FIFA World Cup and Russia in its own way,” the Jiangsu party chief said proudly.

The Jiangsu-headquartered heavy machinery manufacturing company Xuzhou Construction Machine Group (XCMG) has grown into a star enterprise on Russian market. Selling a total of over 80,000 sets of machines in the country, XCMG ranks the first among its Chinese industry peers in terms of exports to Russia.

Russian staff  members working at the exhibition booth outside the venue of the Eastern Economic Forum, Sept. 11, 2018. (Photo by Li Hao from People’s Daily)

Machineries made by the Chinese company plays an indispensable part both at the site of Yamal Liquefied Natural Gas project where the temperature gets as low as tens of Celsius degrees below zero, as well as in the scientific diving expedition into the hundreds-meter-deep Lake Baikal.

The XCMG is only one of the many enterprises that actively participate in China-Russia industrial cooperation. At the roundtable, many Russian governors said that machinery products constituted one of Far East’s biggest imports from China, and some Chinese companies had already invested in manufacturing projects in the region.

Xi and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin attach high importance to sub-national industrial cooperation. They have witnessed the signing of cooperation documents on industries and investment in the Far East region on Tuesday.

On the same day, China’s leading e-commerce player Alibaba and the Russian Direct Investment Fund announced to establish a new strategic cooperative partnership and start a joint venture.

This cooperation has drawn high attention from the Russian side. Russian newspaper Kommersant commented that it was the largest cooperation project for Russia’s internet industry.

Putin also pledged Russia’s supports to Alibaba’s development in his country during the roundtable.

The deal also came as cross-border e-commerce is rising to an important platform for sub-national communication and business exchanges between China and Russia in recent years, with the surging development of e-commerce.

Russia especially valued the cooperation with China, General Director of Russian Post Nikolay Podguzov told People’s Daily, saying that the space for sub-national cooperation between the two countries is enlarging.

Podguzov, whose company handled 90 percent of the parcels sent from China to Russia, hoped the two countries could improve logistics efficiency by further beefing up the cooperation between local regions and businesses. 

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Bianji, Hongyu)

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