China, Russia clinch enhanced cooperation as Xi visits Moscow

Russia and China further boost economic and commercial ties as Xi and Putin seal billions of dollars worth deals in Moscow

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Russian Federation and People’s Republic of China signed on Friday a 25 billion dollars worth of 32 agreements as the Chinese President Xi Jinping paid an official visit to Moscow in order to commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Soviet victory over the Nazi Germany in the Second World War.

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin hosted his Chinese counterpart in the Kremlin Palace where the parties clinched their commercial and economic ties which have been enormously  increased in the past several years.

Moscow and Beijing have agreed on to flourish the ties more in trade, natural gas, banking, mutual investment and nuclear cooperation with the signing of agreements which stiffen Russia’s recent geopolitical shift towards China.

Upcoming commercial ties are expected to move the bilateral relations of  Russia and China further into a strategic partnership at a time when the West continues to increase political, economic and security pressures on Moscow.

"Today China is our strategic and key partner," said Russian President Putin when he underlined the significance of bilateral relations with Beijing.

Putin stressed the importance of Soviet triumph over the Nazis on the eve of Saturday’s military parade to which more than 30 foreign dignitaries attending together with the Chinese president.

“Tomorrow with other world leaders we will take part in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the [Soviet] victory in World War II, and in September in Beijing we will mark the end of the World War II. We will commemorate those who stood side by side against the militaristic Japan,” Putin said in the joint press conference held together with Xi following the official talks.

Putin and Xi stated that the newly-founded Russian-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) and Chinese blueprint Silk Road projects should be incorporated to each other as the necessity of newborn Russian-Chinese partnership.

"The integration of the EEU and Silk Road projects means reaching a new level of partnership and actually implies a common economic space on the continent," Putin said by adding that, "The EEU and Silk Road projects can harmoniously supplement each other" when he said Chinese President Xi had paid special attention to this issue at their talks in Moscow.

The Chinese side pledged to invest some infrastructure projects like 770 km-long Moscow-Yekaterinburg-Kazan high-speed train line that might be extended en route to China through Kazakhstan later on in accordance with the agreement signed in the Kremlin.

Russia’s economic interest reached at its peak when the West imposed financial, economic and military sanctions on Moscow in the wake of eastern Ukraine crisis.

The parties inked two mega gas deals worth 400-billion-dollar last year, which would facilitate China to become the biggest consumer of Russian energy supplies as Beijing received almost 70 billion cubic metres gas annually after 2018.

For China, Russia’s energy resources constitute a stable market in which Beijing’s increasing energy demands for its booming economy can be securely met.

Both countries appear to become increasingly interdependent as the trade volume reached at 90 billion dollars annually as of the end of 2014.

Russia’s energy monopoly Gazprom and China’s National Petroleum Company (CNPC) had previously signed a preliminary agreement for the state-owned China National Oil and Gas Exploration and Development Corporation to take a 10 percent stake in Russia's Vankorneft.

As the relations soured with the West soon after Moscow’s annexation of Crimea and its alleged roles in eastern Ukraine crisis, Russia augmented its military and security ties with China while Beijing has also been accused of its offensive territorial claims in the South China Sea by the regional and Western allies.

Security partnership between Moscow and Beijing had accelerated when the parties signed the military agreement of Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) in the wider Eurasia region in 2001.

Earlier on Friday two Chinese warships, Linyi and Weifang, had arrived the Russian Black Sea port of Novorossiysk to participate in the joint naval drill with Russian fleet in the Mediterranean Sea for the first time in history as the respective countries will do a joint military exercise in the western side of the world in days to come.

Russia-China joint military drill just came after NATO’s Operation Atlantic Resolve military drill across the European seas with that the Euro-Atlantic alliance sends a political message to Russia over its alleged aggression and the crisis in eastern Ukraine.


TRTWorld and agencies