Putin in China: waiting for East Asian breakthrough
Russian President Vladimir Putin has started his state visit to Beijing today at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping.
Following a formal welcoming ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in central Beijing, Putin first with Premier Li Keqiang, telling him that Russia-China trade and economic ties have "gained a good tempo, and we are looking for new spheres of cooperation."
Li, in turn, said bilateral trade is expected to reach $100 billion this year and voiced a readiness to expand cooperation in both traditional and new spheres, including nuclear energy.
Putin also met with Xi Jinping ahead of a summit featuring their two countries and six Asian states.
"Cooperation with China is one of Russia's top priorities and it has reached an unprecedented level," ABC News cited Putin as saying.
Xi said the two countries have "always firmly taken the development of relations as a priority direction."
They have "resolutely supported the other's core interests ... and jointly proactively participated in international affairs and global governance," Xi said.
The director of the Center for Studies of Eastern Asia and the SCO of the Institute for International Studies of MGIMO, Alexander Lukin, speaking with Vestnik Kavkaza, noted that Vladimir Putin's state visit to Beijing is taking place against the background of the highest level of Russian-Chinese relations in the history of contacts between the two countries. "Officially, our relations are a strategic partnership, which means that, in fact, our views on world development coincide almost completely. State visits are held annually - either the leader of China travels to Russia or our leader goes to China to discuss the main issues of bilateral relations and the global situation," he said.
According to the expert, a significant part of the agenda between the Russian president and the Chinese leadership will be occupied by international problems. "First of all, this is the situation on the Korean peninsula. Russia and China have been actively advocating the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula for many years, and largely due to their efforts, the position of North Korea has become more constructive. Naturally, the leaders need to discuss their actions and positions in the case of every result of US-DPRK talks," Alexander Lukin drew attention.
"As for the bilateral agenda, we have a lot of issues here as well. In addition to the obvious topic of exporting hydrocarbons and selling electricity to China, for example, the issue of building a nuclear power plant in China is possible. We are also negotiating the dedollarization of our cooperation and the world economy as a whole, various Chinese payment systems operate in Russia already on a par with European and American ones. China is actively investing in the Russian economy, about $1 billion a year. And it is likely that agreements will be reached in these areas," the director of the Center for Studies of Eastern Asia and the SCO of the Institute for International Studies of MGIMO expects.