New Horizons for China and Russia

There has always been a good relationship between Russia and China in regard to trade. As China faces growth at an alarming rate, and is providing assistance to the Russian Government in regard to funding projects, Premier Wen Jiabao hopes that his visit to Russia, starting on Monday, 29 November 2010, will strengthen their bond and they can work together to negotiate a new gas price agreement between the two countries. Russia is looking towards outsourcing more of its energy market to China, and in the scheduled meetings it is believed that China and Russia can find a way to benefit from an amended energy agreement.

As one of China’s biggest trade partners, bilateral agreements between the two countries has seen a growth in trade from both sides. China has assisted Russia with funding in regard to their oil pipeline project, which is currently undergoing testing, oil projects and for the development of Russia’s coal deposits. If the East Siberian-Pacific Ocean pipeline is successful and cleared for trade during its test pumping, China will be receiving three hundred thousand barrels of oil per day from next year. It is therefore vital for Premier Wen Jiabao to meet with Russian officials to negotiate a gas supply agreement during his visit. This grey area in the relationship between China and Russia has been ongoing for years, and the Premier is confident that this matter can be successfully negotiated during his visit.

Cheng Guoping, Assistant Foreign Minister for China, spoke to the press about the pending visit, saying “Wen Jiabao’s talks with the Russian leaders will focus on issues of trade and economic relations, on cooperation in the energy sector, and in the areas of finance, agriculture, and regional cooperation. The sides will outline top-priority areas of cooperation at a new stage, and will consider new approaches to the practical cooperation between the two states.” He went on to say that “Being big neighboring countries and important strategic partners, China and Russia are also countries with emerging markets. Maintaining friendly relations, developing mutually beneficial cooperation, strengthening long-term and sustainable strategic partnership is in the interests of the two nations.”

Another significant matter to be discussed by these two countries is to join forces to make greater efforts in saving and conserving wild tigers. As China and Russia share borders, and the drop in number of wild tigers is alarming, projects to protect and instill programs to increase their numbers will also be on the minds of the leaders, strengthening their bond in wildlife and economic sectors.