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Thread: New China leader in Moscow boosting ties

  1. #21
    Member greencold's Avatar
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    Dec 2013
    Europe Pakistan

    As Russia Draws Closer to China, U.S. Faces a New Challenge

    WASHINGTON — President Obama flies to Beijing on Sunday to renew efforts to refocus American foreign policy toward Asia. But when he lands, he will find the man who has done so much to frustrate him lately, President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia. “You are pivoting to Asia,” Russia’s ambassador to Washington said last week, “but we’re already there.”

    Mr. Obama is returning to Asia as Russia pulls closer to China, presenting a profound challenge to the United States and Europe. Estranged from the West over Ukraine, Mr. Putin will also be in Beijing this week as he seeks economic and political support, trying to upend the international order by fashioning a coalition to resist what both countries view as American arrogance.

    Whether that is more for show than for real has set off a vigorous debate in Washington, where some government officials and international specialists dismiss the prospect of a more meaningful alliance between Russia and China because of the fundamental differences between the countries. But others said the Obama administration should take the threat seriously as Moscow pursues energy, financing and military deals with Beijing.

    “We are more and more interested in the region that is next to us in Asia,” said Sergei I. Kislyak, the Russian ambassador to Washington. “They are good partners to us.” He added that a recent natural gas deal between Moscow and Beijing was a taste of the future. “It’s just the beginning,” he said, “and you will see more and more projects between us and China.”

    The Russian pivot to China factors into a broader White House-led review of American policy toward Moscow now underway. The review has produced several drafts of a policy to counter what officials call Putinism over the long term while still seeking silos of cooperation, particularly on issues like Iran, terrorism and nuclear nonproliferation.

    Though there is not a wide divergence of opinion inside the administration over how to view Mr. Putin, there is a debate about what to do. The review has pitted officials favoring more engagement against those favoring more containment, according to people involved. The main question is how the Ukraine dispute should define the relationship and affect other areas where the two countries share interests.

    Within the administration, Mr. Putin’s efforts at accord with China are seen as a jab at Washington, but one fraught with a complicated history, mutual distrust and underlying economic disparity that ultimately makes it untenable. “They’ll use each other,” said one government official, who declined to be identified discussing the internal review. “And when one of them gets tired or sees a better deal, they’ll take it.”

    But others warned against underestimating the potential. “There’s just so much evidence the relationship is getting stronger,” said Gilbert Rozman, a Princeton scholar who published a book, “The Sino-Russian Challenge to the World Order,” this year and an article in Foreign Affairs on the subject last month. The rapprochement began before Ukraine, he added, but now there is a “sense that there’s no turning back. They’re moving toward China.”

    Continue reading the main story
    Graham Allison, director of the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs at Harvard, said Mr. Putin seemed to have forged a strong bond with President Xi Jinping of China. “There’s a personal chemistry you can see,” he said. “They like each other, and they can relate to each other. They talk with each other with a candor and a level of cooperation they don’t find with other partners.”

    Mr. Xi made Russia his first foreign destination after taking office and attended the Sochi Olympics as Mr. Obama and European leaders were boycotting them. Each has cracked down on dissent at home, and they share a view of the United States as a meddling imperialist power whose mismanagement of the world economic order was exposed by the 2008 financial crisis.

    While past Chinese leaders looked askance at the Kremlin leader, “Xi is not appalled by Putin,” said Douglas Paal, an Asia expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace.

    The twin crises in Ukraine and Hong Kong have encouraged the alignment. State television in Russia portrays democracy protests in Hong Kong as an American-inspired effort to undermine China, much as it depicted the protests in Kiev as an American effort to peel away a Russian ally from Moscow. Chinese media present Mr. Putin as a strong leader standing up to foreign intervention.

    In May, as the United States and Europe were imposing sanctions on Moscow over Ukraine, Mr. Putin sealed a $400 billion, 30-year deal providing natural gas to China. Last month, China’s premier, Li Keqiang, signed a package of 38 deals in Moscow, including a currency swap and tax treaty. Last week, Mr. Putin said the two countries had reached an understanding for another major gas deal.

    The two had already bolstered economic ties. China surpassed Germany in 2010 to become Russia’s largest trading partner, with nearly $90 billion in trade last year, a figure surging this year as business with Europe shrinks.

    “The campaign of economic sanctions against Russia and political pressure is alienating Russia from the West and pushing it closer to China,” said Sergei Rogov, director of Moscow’s Institute for U.S. and Canada Studies. “China is perceived in Russia as a substitute for Western credits and Western technology.”

    Masha Lipman, a visiting fellow with the European Council on Foreign Relations, said that the pivot to China “is taken very seriously” in Moscow and that “commentators regard this shift as a given, a done and irreversible deal.”

    Yet talk of a Russian-Chinese alignment has persisted for decades without becoming fully realized, given deep cultural differences and a Cold War competition for leadership of the communist world. And Beijing has long opposed separatist movements, making it uncomfortable with Moscow’s support for pro-Russian rebels in eastern Ukraine.

    In Moscow, some fear Russia, out of weakness, has made itself a junior partner to a rising China. While China is now Russia’s largest trading partner, Russia is only China’s 10th largest — and the United States remains its biggest. Moreover, big Russian state companies can make deals, but China will not replace Europe for most corporations and banks, as there is no developed commercial bond market for foreigners in China akin to Eurobonds.

    John Beyrle, a former American ambassador to Moscow, said discussions with Russian business leaders revealed nervousness, a sense that the turn to China was out of necessity as loans and investment from the West dry up. “One of them said that dependence on China worries the Russian elite much more than dependence on the West,” he said.

    Lilia Shevtsova, a Moscow-based analyst with the Brookings Institution, said: “The pivot is artificial. And the pivot is to the disadvantage of Russia.”

    Mr. Obama and Mr. Putin will cross paths twice this week, first in Beijing at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation forum, and then in Brisbane, Australia, at a meeting of the Group of 20 nations. Mr. Obama hopes to advance a Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact. Russia and China are acutely aware they have been excluded from the proposed bloc, and Mr. Putin says it would be ineffective without them.

    Such issues only fuel Russia’s move to China, Russian officials said. If the United States and Europe are less reliable, long-term partners, then China looks more attractive. “We trust them,” said Mr. Kislyak, “and we hope that China equally trusts us.”

  2. #22
    Senior Member Red Dragon's Avatar
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    Arrow Putin, Xi Jinping sign mega gas deal on second gas supply route

    President Vladimir Putin and Chinese leader Xi Jinping have signed a memorandum of understanding on the so-called “western” gas supplies route to China. The agreement paves the way for a contract that would make China the biggest consumer of Russian gas.

    Russia’s so-called “western” or "Altay" route would supply 30 billion cubic meters (bcm) of gas a year to China.

    The new supply line comes in addition to the “eastern” route, through the “Power of Siberia” pipeline, which will annually deliver 38 bcm of gas to China. Work on that pipeline route has already begun after a $400 billion deal was clinched in May.

    READ MORE: Putin breaks ground on Russia-China gas pipeline, world's biggest (VIDEO)

    “After we have launched supplies via the “western route,” the volume of gas deliveries to China can exceed the current volumes of export to Europe,” Gazprom CEO Aleksey Miller told reporters, commenting on the deal.

    Speaking to journalists on the eve of his visit to Beijing, Putin was optimistic about prospects for the new gas deal with China.

    “We have reached an understanding in principle concerning the opening of the western route,” Putin said. “We have already agreed on many technical and commercial aspects of this project, laying a good basis for reaching final arrangements.”

    The “western” route deal is one of the 17 agreements signed at the Sunday meeting between Putin and Xi.

    They also included a framework agreement between Gazprom and China’s CNPC on gas deliveries and a memorandum of understanding between Gazprom and another Chinese energy giant, CNOOC.

    Gazprom and CNPC have also signed a preliminary agreement for China National Oil and Gas Exploration and Development to take a 10 percent stake in Russia's Vancorneft.

    Among the business issues discussed by Putin and Xi at their fifth meeting this year was the possibility of payment in Chinese yuan, including for defense deals military, Russian presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov was cited as saying by RIA Novosti.

  3. #23
    Senior Member Red Dragon's Avatar
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    Mar 2013
    China China

    Smart-gift: Putin presents Chinese leader with dual-screen YotaPhone

    'Made in China' can be seen on many world's products, but Russian President Vladimir Putin has given his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping something that he certainly does not have - a Russian-developed world-first dual-screen smartphone.

    After holding an official meeting within the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) summit in Beijing, Putin presented the president of the People's Republic of China with a set of Russian smartphones - YotaPhone 2.

    The meeting of the two leaders was an anniversary, being the tenth encounter between Putin and Xi Jinping since the latter took office last year, according to China's People's Daily newspaper.

    The special edition of the smartphone includes a data protection system, developed by Russian engineers, which makes the phone "unique" in regard of safety levels, Rostec, which has shares in YotaPhone project, said in a news release.

    The Chinese leader was all smiles for the gift, which - according to Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov - was updated with Russian, Chinese and APEC paraphernalia.

    "Do we have partnership in this project as well?" Xi Jinping asked Putin, who replied "Will do!"

    According to Rostec, the Chinese leader became world's first owner of the new YotaPhone 2. The official launch of the new generation of YotaPhones is scheduled for December, when the line of smartphones will go on sale in Russia. Then the phone is expected to hit European markets, with sales in China and South-East Asia expected to start in the first quarter of 2015.

    The second generation of the smartphone, YotaPhone 2, was first unveiled to the public earlier this year at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona. As its first edition, the Russian-invented device boasts world's first dual-screen, with one of its displays based on electronic paper technology - always-on, even with a drained battery.

    The gadget, which was dubbed by some a "Russian iPhone" sells at 14,000 rubles (US$300) on its manufacturer's website.

    Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev, who is known for his love for technical innovations, was among the first fans of the YotaPhone, after he was presented with one in December last year.

  4. #24
    Senior Member Red Dragon's Avatar
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    China investing in strategic partner Russia will financially benefit both

    Amid intensified Western sanctions on Russia and tumbling global energy prices, the Russian financial system is undergoing enormous difficulties. Its accelerating capital flight has led to a steep drop in the value of the Russian ruble, and meanwhile, its fiscal revenue has considerably decreased due to the plunge in oil prices.

    In this context, China's extensive investment in Russia has drawn much attention. China now holds Russian bonds and exchangeable monetary assets and also makes direct investments in Russia. Some observers hold that as the Russian economy is now in a harder position, risks increase for Chinese investment. If massive losses occur, it will in turn affect the safety of Chinese financial institutions and may even spark a systemic crisis, they say.

    Should we worry about being implicated in the difficulties of Russian finance? All investment involves risk. International investment in particular involves special risks that result from political, price and contract default factors. While it's necessary to watch these risks, more attention is needed on strategic interests.

    Russia is a strategic collaborative partner of China and naturally deserves China's help. In the international landscape, China is under a lot of strategic pressure and needs to stabilize its strategic partner to share the burden. To this end, China's helping a strategic partner is somewhat helping itself.

    When some eurozone countries were disturbed by the sovereign debt crisis, it was China that acquired their bonds to help stabilize their markets. However, in the aftermath of the crisis when these bonds appreciated dramatically, some Western investors even came to China in hope of buying back the bonds that they had tried hard to avoid. Didn't they know that things always change?

    Such is the case with China's investment in Russia, as it will definitely appreciate when the Russian economy has passed through its difficulties and the world economy returns to the growth track.

    As an important part of the global economy, China's decisions will affect the way that things proceed. Where China deploys its over $4 trillion foreign exchange reserves would hence exert a tremendous influence on the global market, which provides a greater security guarantee for China's financial system.

    It is businesspeople that haggle over the returns of every investment deal while strategists always eye the ultimate strategic gains. China can only stay stable with stability in Russia ensured. In this case, giving a hand to Russia is also helping China itself.

    What will China encounter on the international stage if it lets Western countries heighten sanctions on Russia and drag the country into chaos? What kind of cost will China have to pay for this? This cannot be matched against the losses that China may suffer in its investment in Russia. On the other hand, if China's help earns Russia's trust and makes it a reliable energy and resource supplier as well as a military strategic partner, how much would such a deal be worth?

    The author is deputy director of the Institute of World Development at the Development Research Center of the State Council. [email protected]

  5. #25
    Senior Member Amjad Hussain's Avatar
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    ‘Evergreen tree’ of Sino-Russian friendship

    The Chinese President Xi Jinping had made some highly significant remarks regarding the future directions of the Sino-Russian strategic cooperation while receiving President Vladimir Putin in Beijing ten days ago on the eve of the APEC summit. The exceptional warmth of the meeting was noticeable — taking “good care of the evergreen tree of Chinese-Russian friendship”, Xi remarked.

    He said the two countries have “lately enhanced our strategic management and planning in bilateral relations” and envisaged “a time for new achievements.” Xi estimated that the strengthening of the cooperation “complies with the spirit of the times” and no matter the “changes… on the world arena”, cooperation with Russia is a priority area” for Chinese foreign policy.

    He envisaged the two countries having “to jointly protect the post-cold war world order.” (Kremlin readout). Indeed, the remarks were made against the backdrop of the rising tensions in Russia’s relations with the United States.

    Taking stock of Xi’s latest meeting with Putin, a scholar at the China Institute of International Studies noted,

    “Geopolitical conditions and strategic security concerns have impelled China and Russia to strengthen cooperation… In a sense, cooperation… can help them protect their core interests and maintain the balance of world power. But their efforts have focused more on short-term cooperation and coordinated emergency responses than strategic and long-term cooperation projects… Now (after Putin’s visit) the bilateral ties have been pushed to new heights as practical cooperative efforts have been introduced.”

    The scholar took note of the West’s sanctions against Russia and argued that beyond trade and energy cooperation, the two countries can also help each other to transform their “economic growth modes… Russia is a world leader in aerospace and defence technology and heavy equipment manufacturing; China excels in agriculture, light industry and information technology. The two countries can complement each other…” (Beijing Review)

    Meanwhile, another prominent scholar attached to the State Council in Beijing forcefully argued in an opinion-pice in the communist party tabloid Global Times that it is in China’s vital interests to help Russia as the latter grapples with the Western sanctions.

    He concluded, “China can only stay stable with stability in Russia ensured… What will China encounter on the international stage if it lets Western countries heighten sanctions on Russia and drag the country into chaos?… On the other hand, if China’s help earns Russia’s trust and makes it a reliable and resource supplier as well as a military strategic partner, how much would such a deal worth?” (Global Times).

    The two commentaries bring out some important vectors. One, the two mega gas deals signed between the two countries during the past six months worth a total of $700 billion would signify a big statement by Moscow that Putin’s ‘pivot’ to China is a strategic decision. This is for many reasons.

    For one thing, Russia has diversified its energy exports and there is every likelihood that China will replace Europe in the medium term as Russia’s principal market.

    Ironically, Russia’s increased exports to the Chinese market are threatening to kill the dream harbored by the US natural gas exporters to export to China, the largest and most profitable market for LNG exporters at present. This is a body blow because Russia is literally making it difficult for the US to compete on the world market. (The US LNG is no longer competitive in Europe.) See an excellent analysis by the Oil Price magazine.

    By the way, Russia has made some unprecedented gestures to China in the field of energy cooperation. Putin disclosed In an interview with the TASS news agency last week that: a) Rosneft is offering to China a 10 percent stake in the massive Vankor oil field project in Eastern Siberia b) Alongside, China will be given representation in the board of directors of the Vankor project. c) Russia has offered to sell the oil from Vankor to China for the yuans.

    To quote Putin, “we’re moving away from the diktat of the market that denominates all commercial flows in US dollars. We’re encouraging in every way the use of national currencies.” The Russian move amounts to a direct challenge to the status of the US dollar as the reserve currency globally.

    Two. Beijing proposes to help Moscow to counter the deleterious effect of the Western sanctions on the Russian financial system. In essence, China can continue to help by investing in Russian bonds and exchangeable monetary assets, apart from making direct investments, thereby strengthening Moscow’s hands to withstand the effect of the Western sanctions. China is uniquely placed to do that because the manner in which it deploys its foreign exchange reserves (exceeding $4 trillion currently) cannot but make a critical difference.

    On its part, Russia also is showing signs of shedding its traditional reserve in military-technical cooperation with China involving high technology products. Beijing will see this as yet another definite signal by Moscow that it is willing to expand the perimeters of cooperation in the defence field. Thus, the 3-day visit by the Russian defence minister Sergey Shoigu to Beijing this week, which concluded on Wednesday, merits close attention.

    Shoigu is indeed a close confidante of Putin. While announcing the visit, Russian defence ministry spokesman said Shoigu’s agenda will include discussions on “current issues of international and regional security and bilateral military and military-technical cooperation” and that Shoigu would “determine priority tasks” for further cooperation.

    The Xinhua reports on Shoigu’s meetings with the Chinese prime minister and military leaders(here, here and here) underscore unmistakably that the two militaries have a shared interest in strengthening the cooperation and have drawn very close to each other.

    Evidently, Shoigu carried a much bigger brief than merely negotiating a road map of Russian- Chinese military-technical cooperation for the year ahead. He held discussions with the Chinese military leadership on the current trends in the international system and the imperatives for the two countries to join ranks to meet common challenges.

    Shoigu disclosed to the media that the defence ministries of the two countries have decided to form a regional collective security system in the Asia-Pacific. He said both Russia and China are concerned about the US’ ‘pivot’ to Asia, translating as attempts by Washington to strengthen its military and political clout in the Asia-Pacific.

    Quite obviously, this comes as a riposte to the tripartite meeting between the US president and the Japanese and Australian prime ministers on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Brisbane, which targeted Russia directly and China by implication.

    Shoigu said, “We [Russia and China] believe that the main goal of pooling our effort is to shape a collective security system.” Interestingly, he announced that Russia and China will hold joint naval drills in 2015 not only in the Pacific but also in the Mediterranean. He expressed satisfaction that the spectrum of joint activities between the two countries “has visibly expanded and gained a systematic character… We have vast potential of cooperation in the defence sphere and the Russian side is ready to develop it in a wide range of areas.”

    Shoigu added: “Amid a highly volatile world situation, it becomes particularly important to strengthen reliable good-neighborly relations between our countries. This is not only an important factor for security of states but also a contribution to peace and stability on the Eurasian continent and beyond.”

    In effect, Shoigu cited China’s understanding and support for Russia’s stance in the Ukraine situation while affirming Russia’s shared concerns with China with regard to the Asia-Pacific theatre. (TASS)

    Interestingly, Shoigu’s talks in Beijing touched on the protests in Hong Kong as an example of the US-sponsored ‘color revolutions’, which only goes to show that, as a senior Russian official accompanying Shoigu put it, here, “Russia and China should work together to withstand this new security challenge to our countries.”

    The Russian reports also mentioned an intriguing new salient in the Sino-Russian strategic understanding with the two countries agreeing to use the format of the Geneva disarmament conference to explain their “peaceful approaches… in order to make it clear where we are moving to, what we want and what we must do together to live in peace” — to quote Russian deputy defence minister Anatoly Antonov.

    To be sure, the Russia-China strategic ties have reached a defining moment. Neither country has desired an alliance. On the other hand, neither country is also under any illusion that their respective rivalry with the United States trumps everything.

    The fact remains that despite the bonhomie over the US-China climate change accord, the power rivalry between the two big powers still threatens the Pacific.

    Equally, the G20 in Brisbane saw an unprecedented spectacle of the US and its Anglo-Saxon allies — Britain and Australia — berating Russian leadership in a manner that has no parallel even in the high noon of the Cold War.

    Therefore, with the US breeding insecurity in the Eurasian and Asia-Pacific regions, Moscow and Beijing may be seeing the need to draw closer to each other and form an axis between them. Shoigu’s mission to China aimed at taking the first steps in that direction.

    Of course, Russia’s search for collective security has a long history and has taken a tortuous course over the past decade. (See my article Russia’s search for collective security in Asia Times dated May 31, 2006). However, it is for the first time in the Cold War era that Moscow has dusted up the Soviet-era doctrine of collective security in Asia and discussed it in Beijing as a template of the Sino-Russian strategic partnership. And, the crucial thing is that Beijing warmed up to it.

    By M K Bhadrakumar

  6. #26
    Senior Member Red Dragon's Avatar
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    China China

    Russia may accept majority Chinese control of big oil and gas fields

    * Russian U-turn reflects pressure of Western sanctions

    * Foreign know-now needed to tap inaccessible reserves

    * "Now we know China better," deputy PM says (Changes dateline, writes through)

    By Olesya Astakhova

    KRASNOYARSK, Russia, Feb 27 (Reuters) - Russia may consider allowing Chinese investors more than 50 percent stakes in its strategic oil and gas fields, an official said on Friday, an about-face by Moscow that underlines its need for foreign help to develop energy reserves.

    While closely guarding control of the oil and gas fields that supply the lifeblood of its economy, Russia has forged alliances with some Western companies to obtain the know-how it needs to tap hard-to-reach deposits.

    But now that Western sanctions over Moscow's role in Ukraine have all but halted that cooperation, Russia has overcome a "psychological barrier" and is ready to deepen its economic ties with China, Deputy Prime Minister Arkady Dvorkovich said.

    "We have a strategic partnership with China and now decisions are made much faster than before. In particular, we have a gas contract, a second one will be signed soon. Now we know China better: their motives and intentions are understood," he told a conference in the Siberian city of Krasnoyarsk.

    "There used to be a psychological barrier. Now it doesn't exist any more. We are interested in maximum investments in new industries. China is an obvious investor for us."

    President Vladimir Putin has pushed for closer ties with Asia since the European Union and United States imposed sanctions on Russia last year over its role in the Ukraine conflict, plunging relations to lows not seen since the Cold War.

    Last year, he oversaw the signing of a deal, valued by Russian state-owned gas firm Gazprom at $400 billion, to supply China with 38 billion cubic metres of gas per year by pipeline from 2019. So far, Russia sells pipeline gas only to Europe.


    Despite overtures to China as part of Russia's "pivot east", Moscow has failed to complete a large number of deals and there has been a wariness in Asia about providing financing for Russian companies and banks.

    China's CNPC and Sinopec Group have made upstream investments in Russia but only in quite small projects. CNPC has an exploration block but no production as yet.

    "Putin is currently in a tough situation. We all know this. One of the ways to help him get out of the mess is trying to improve ties with China," said a senior Chinese oil industry official familiar with CNPC's strategy and Sino-Russian energy cooperation.

    "It has been very difficult for CNPC to do upstream cooperation in Russia under Putin. We have tried numerous times before, to no avail. Now the situation has changed, the chance of doing that is higher."

    Current restrictions allow foreign investors to own up to 50 percent of oil fields with reserves of more than 70 million tonnes and gas fields with more than 50 billion cubic metres.

    Dvorkovich said that 50-50 ownership was "comfortable" for now but added that "if there is a request (for control), we will consider it." He said Russia had not yet decided whether to let Chinese investors take stakes in offshore oil and gas deposits.

    As rival Communist powers, Moscow and Beijing endured a long rift in relations during the Soviet period, but Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov told students of the Diplomatic Academy in Moscow that ties were now on "an unprecedented level".

    "This has never happened before in history. They are not based on ... a desire to unite against someone but on the matching deep national interests of two neighbouring countries with a huge joint border," he said in comments broadcast live on television on Friday.

    Lavrov said he saw "nothing dangerous here, though some are trying to warn against over-dependence" on China.

    Most of Russia's oil production is based in western Siberia, where fields are running out. Any new areas for discovery, such as east Siberia and the Arctic, and hard-to-recover resources, would require foreign assistance.

    According to BP, Russia's proven oil reserves, the world's 8th largest, stood at 93 billion barrels at the end of 2013. Its gas reserves were at 31.3 trillion cubic metres, second only to Iran's 33.8 trillion. (Reporting by Olesya Astakhova, Katya Golubkova and Timothy Heritage; additional reporting by Charlie Zhu in Beijing; writing by Vladimir Soldatkin; editing by Elizabeth Piper and Mark Trevelyan)

  7. #27
    Senior Member Red Dragon's Avatar
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    China-Russia partnership mature & stable, not targeting ‘third parties’

    The strategic ties between China and Russia are mutually beneficial and based on trust and a tradition of supporting one another, said Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, emphasizing that the cooperation is mature and not targeted at third parties.

    Describing China-Russia bilateral relations as stable and mature, the Chinese Foreign Minister has stated that Western political and economic pressure on Moscow will not affect mutual cooperation.

    “The China-Russia relationship is not dictated by international vicissitudes and does not target any third party,” Wang Yi said at a press conference Sunday, in response to a question from Russia’s Sputnik news agency.

    “The practical cooperation between China and Russia is based on mutual need, it seeks win-win results and has enormous internal impetus and room for expansion,” Yi said, adding that as “comprehensive strategic partners of coordination, China and Russia have a good tradition of supporting each other.”

    The Chinese minister also stressed the historic importance of trust that has developed between the two nations, and the need for both states to coordinate efforts to insure international stability – particularly through the UN Security Council, where they earlier used their veto powers to block questionable Western initiatives.

    “China and Russia are both permanent members of the United Nations Security Council,” he said. “We will continue to carry out strategic coordination and cooperation to maintain international peace and security.”

    China plans to step up its trading volume with Russia, which Wang Yi said may reach $100 billion in 2015, compared to US$95.3 billion last year. “We will do our best so that the bilateral trade reaches our goal of $100 billion, we will sign an agreement on cooperation in the area of the Silk Route’s Economic Belt,” he added.

    He also noted that Beijing is ready to cooperate with Russia on all fronts, such as the high speed railways construction, aviation, energy, as well as financial sectors.

    “We will develop and deepen our cooperation in the financial and banking areas, in the area of nuclear energy, oilfields,” Yi said, noting that this year the construction of the “eastern” gas supplies route to China will intensify, while the states are finalizing the details of the “western” route.

    Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin met five times last year and have a close personal relationship.

    Additionally, Russia and China were instrumental last year in establishing $100 billion BRICS bank that is to serve as a pool of money for infrastructure projects in Russia, Brazil, India, China and South Africa, and will challenge the dominance of the Western-led World Bank and the IMF.

    Moscow and Beijing have been boosting cooperation in various fields, including the energy and financial sectors. Most recently, the two countries decided to create a joint rating agency that’ll counter balance the existing Western ‘Big Three’ of S&P, Moody’s and Fitch.

    Meanwhile the decision to switch to local currencies in trading settlements has become a major move towards reducing dependence on the US dollar and creates an alternative within the global financial system.

  8. #28
    Senior Member Red Dragon's Avatar
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    Chinese Companies Stay in Russia Despite Economic Turmoil

    The president of the Association of Chinese Entrepreneurs in Russia said that Chinese companies are not leaving the Russian market despite economic difficulties in the country.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) — Chinese companies are not leaving the Russian market despite economic difficulties in the country, Cai Guiru, the president of the Association of Chinese Entrepreneurs in Russia, told Sputnik.

    "Over the past several years, Chinese companies have been greatly impacted by the economic crisis. They are all members of the association. I told them that the situation in Russia was improving. Not one company has left. On the contrary, we have managed to bring in new investors," Guiru said.

    Gazprombank to Expand Into Asia With 'A-' From Chinese Rating Agency

    She said that big changes were taking place in Russia and that the investment climate was changing for the better, with such companies as Great Wall, Lifeng and Zoomlion expanding their presence in the country.

    Guiru also noted that China was willing to invest in Russia's Far East but faced certain difficulties, legislation being one of them.

    "One and the same legislation is interpreted differently by different lawyers… A company may comply with one legal provision but be in violation with another," she said.

    Guiru said that China was very interested in exports from Russia, including agricultural goods, chemical products and mineral resources, among other things.

    On Thursday, Kremlin Chief of Staff Sergei Ivanov said that Russia-China relations were at a level never seen before.

    According to Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi, the trade volume between the two countries stood at $90 billion in 2013 and was expected to hit $100 billion in 2015

  9. #29
    Senior Member Red Dragon's Avatar
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    China and Russia to step up energy cooperation

    ‪#‎China‬ and ‪#‎Russia‬ are set to reach more ‪#‎energy‬ trade deals later this year, in a further sign that Russia may move away from Western energy markets and turning to the East.

    The cooperation plan between the two countries includes the construction of a new gas pipeline, known as the “Western route.” The pipeline will cut through Russia's Altai Republic to connect fields in western Siberia to northwest China.

    During a visit to Beijing in November last year, Russian President Vladimir Putin reached a preliminary agreement to supply China with 30 billion cubic meters of gas per year under the Western route project.

    According to Russia's state-owned Gazprom, it is determined to complete the construction of the new pipeline by 2018. However many details, including the price of the gas, are still being worked out.

    This comes in addition to the “Eastern” route deal, which was signed between Gazprom and China’s CNPC in May 2014. The $400-billion deal stipulates that 38 billion cubic meters of Russian gas will be supplied annually to China over a period of 30 years.

    Discussing the deals in November last year, Gazprom CEO Aleksey Miller was quoted as saying that once the projects are complete, the volume of gas that Russia delivers to China can exceed the current volumes of export to Europe.

    Russia's economy has been deteriorating under the weight of Western sanctions and lower oil prices.
    Analysts say that Moscow has been actively looking eastwards to sell natural gas and oil, with Central Asia and China being key markets.

    "Russia is increasing its profile in Asia as a seller of oil and gas and other resources like this. And this is very good news, especially because we have already created, going to create more of that, a whole new system of economic cooperation," says Dmitry Kosyrev, a foreign affairs commentator with RIA Novosti.

  10. #30
    Senior Member Red Dragon's Avatar
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    Mar 2013
    China China

    Xi will honor soldiers during Russia trip

    Visits to Kazakhstan and Belarus will center on improving their strategic partnerships

    Xi will honor soldiers during Russia trip

    President Xi Jinping will meet with representatives of senior Russian soldiers and experts during his trip abroad starting later this week, as Beijing and Moscow are set to make their own trans-Eurasia blueprints.

    Xi will begin his visit to Kazakhstan on Thursday, visit Russia from Friday to Sunday and attend the ceremony to commemorate the 70th anniversary of victory of the Great Patriotic War (1941-45) in Moscow, Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang announced on Monday.

    As the third and last stop, Xi will pay a state visit to Belarus from Sunday to May 12, Lu said.

    Vice-Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping said the president will meet with representatives of veteran soldiers from World War II.

    Xi will also meet with representatives of Russian experts who had been dispatched to aid China during the former Soviet Union era, Cheng told reporters during a news conference in Beijing on Monday.

    Additionally, for the first time, a contingent of honor guards from the People's Liberation Army will take part in a major parade in Moscow on Saturday, China's ambassador to Russia, Li Hui, and the Chinese Ministry of National Defense confirmed recently.

    Cheng noted that the Russian visit will be more than a good opportunity for China, Russia and the international community to remember history and honor those who sacrificed their lives.

    "During the visit, the two leaders will determine the priority areas and directions for taking the China-Russia relationship to the next stage," Cheng said.

    During Xi's visit to Moscow, they will release a joint statement and will embark on further discussions for strategic transcontinental blueprints, according to Cheng.

    In an April meeting between foreign ministers in Moscow, both countries said they were ready to "proactively explore" cooperation on China's Silk Road Economic Belt initiative, and Russia's idea of creating a "passage" between Asia and Europe and integrating Eurasian economies.

    Russian President Vladimir Putin has also voiced support for the Silk Road Economic Belt plan. China has been the largest trading partner for Russia for five years.

    Yang Cheng, deputy director of the Center for Russian Studies at East China Normal University, said the attendance of the Chinese leader shows "the unswerving shared commitment from both sides to champion the postwar order".

    The developing cooperative agenda also demonstrates a strong "durability" of the strategic partnership between China and Russia, Yang added.

    Vice-Foreign Minister Cheng also noted that Xi will be the first foreign leader to visit Kazakhstan after the recent re-election of Kazakh President Nursultan Nazarbayev.

    The two leaders will sketch a blueprint for cooperation, including the construction of the Silk Road Economic Belt, and will coordinate positions on a range of major cooperative programs, Cheng said.

    Xi will also become the first Chinese president in 14 years to visit Belarus, a traditionally friendly country for China.

    Top-level policies and plans will be outlined by the two leaders to boost their comprehensive strategic partnership, Cheng said.

    Xinhua contributed to this story.

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