Russia and China Pursue Bilateral Trade and Cooperation

At the invitation Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, China’s Premier Wen Jiabao will be paying a visit to Russia from Monday 27 October. The two leaders will be meeting in Moscow to discuss a number of issues of mutual concern, including the current global financial crisis and Russia-China trade, with a view to further strengthening the already strong ties between the two countries.

It is anticipated that Russia and China will strengthen cooperation relating to meeting China’s energy requirements. While almost all of Russia’s pipelines already lead to the west, plans are likely to be put into place for directing pipelines east to meet China’s increasing energy needs, which would be most beneficial to both countries. As permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, Russia and China continue to cooperate closely to safeguard their national interests, as well as promoting world peace and stability. Earlier this month, diplomats from China and Russia settled a lingering territorial dispute when formally agreeing on the boundary markers for the eastern section of the border at Heixiazi Island, thereby clearing the last political obstacle and paving the way for complete Russia-China cooperation.

The close cooperation between the two countries was highlighted when Russia was the first country to offer aid, rescue and medical teams to China following the devastating earthquakes in the country’s Sichuan Province. Moreover, Russia invited around 1,000 traumatized Chinese children to Russian resorts for rehabilitation. During the Beijing Olympics in August this year, the bond that has formed between the two countries was evident by the fact that many Chinese spectators cheered for Russian athletes. Furthermore, China plans to declare 2009 as a “Year of Russia”, while Russia intends to mark 2010 as a “Year of China”.

Andrew Ostrovsky of the Far East Institute, which is related to the Russian Academy of Science, noted that closer cooperation between China and Russia could go a long way to limiting the impact of the global financial crisis on the economies of the two neighbors. Compared with the same period of 2007, bilateral trade increased by 23 percent in the first nine months of 2008. Certainly, bilateral trade has grown significantly in recent years and is expected to continue to do so, with every effort being made to meet a target of between 60 and 80 billion US dollars for the year 2010.