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Pacts set to be signed during Xi's state visit

(China Daily)    07:25, May 31, 2019

President Xi Jinping (R) holds talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of the Second Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation in Beijing, April 26, 2019. [Photo/Xinhua]

Pragmatic cooperation, global strategic stability high on Sino-Russian agenda

Beijing and Moscow will sign around 30 cooperation documents during President Xi Jinping's state visit to Russia next week, including two joint statements on bilateral ties as well as on global strategic stability, Vice-Foreign Minister Zhang Hanhui said on Thursday.

Xi will kick off a three-day state visit to Russia on Wednesday at the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin, and attend the 23rd St. Petersburg International Economic Forum to be held between June 6 and June 8.

The two presidents will witness the signing of an array of agreements on business deals in areas such as trade, investment and energy, Zhang said at a media briefing in Beijing.

This year marks the 70th anniversary of diplomatic ties between China and Russia, and Xi's visit will mark a milestone for both countries, Zhang said.

The two heads of state will take part in strategic planning to upgrade bilateral ties, and "jointly usher in a new era of high-level development of China-Russia relations", he said.

In response to a question about the influence of ongoing Sino-US trade friction on cooperation between Chinese and Russian enterprises, Zhang said Beijing and Moscow share a broad consensus and common interests, and will work together to deal with external challenges.

"We have the confidence, resolve and ability to safeguard our country's sovereignty, security and dignity as well as its development interests," he added.

"The China-Russia relationship neither targets a third party, nor will it be weakened by discord sowed by any third party," Zhang said.

Zhang underlined the important role of head-of-state diplomacy in Sino-Russian relations, saying the two presidents have had 28 meetings on various occasions since 2013. Their last meeting took place in Beijing in April.

Oleg Timofeev, an associate professor of China studies at Peoples' Friendship University of Russia, said the frequent meetings between the two presidents demonstrate the good political relations between China and Russia. Thanks to their personal relationship, the countries' ties are best they have ever been, he said.

Natalia Pecheritsa, a professor and director of the Center for Asian and Pacific Countries at Russian New University said Xi's visit will have a positive effect on bilateral cooperation in various fields, not only in political and economic fields, but in cultural and educational areas as well.

Vladimir Yakunin, chairman of the Dialogue of Civilizations Research Institute, said that against the backdrop of growing global discord, Xi's visit demonstrates the strategic relationship of the two countries.

During Xi's visit, the two leaders will attend a series of events commemorating the 70th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral ties, which will include the official opening ceremony of a panda facility at Moscow Zoo, Zhang said. A pair of giant pandas were delivered to Moscow Zoo in April for research cooperation.

St. Petersburg State University, Putin's alma mater, will award Xi an honorary doctorate during the visit, Zhang said. Putin was granted the same honor by Tsinghua University, Xi's alma mater, in April.

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(Web editor: Liang Jun, Bianji)

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