Home\Xi's Visit

Full text of President Xi's written interview with Russian media

Xinhua | Updated: 2017-07-04 10:22

Q2. There is a view that China and Russia have far stronger political relations than economic relations. In your view, what can be done to boost economic ties between the two countries and what are the priority areas and projects?

Xi: President Putin and I both attach great importance to promoting bilateral economic ties. Economic cooperation and trade is the most wide-ranging area in our practical cooperation and enjoys great potential.

We need to take a comprehensive view of the development of our economic ties. China has been Russia's top trading partner for seven consecutive years. Last year, despite such negative factors as the sluggish global economy and prices fluctuations in oil and other commodities, China-Russia economic cooperation started growing again with the trade volume reaching 69.53 billion U.S. dollars, up by 2.2 percent year on year. In the first five months of this year, the two-way trade grew even faster by 26 percent and the total volume in 2017 is expected to exceed 80 billion dollars.

In particular, the structure of China-Russia economic cooperation and trade continues to improve and quite a few new areas of growth have emerged. First, the robust growth in the trade of mechanical and electrical products as well as high-tech products, registering a 20.8 percent and 19.4 percent increase respectively in the first quarter of this year. Second, burgeoning investment cooperation. This year, our intergovernmental investment cooperation committee decided on a list of 73 new projects, some of which are being carried out according to plan. Third, the deepening financial cooperation. The Central Bank of Russia set up its first overseas office in China. With one of its enterprises issuing "Panda bonds" in China, Russia has become the first among the countries along the Belt and Road to do so. To promote cooperation between China's northeast and Russia's far east, China has announced the establishment of the China-Russia Regional Cooperation Development and Investment Fund with a total scale of 100 billion yuan. Fourth, the rapid growth in the trade of agricultural products. China welcomes more imports of high-quality agricultural products from Russia. Fifth, faster progress in the joint development of the far east, for which China is its largest trading partner. The two sides are working on a number of promising projects in the areas of deep processing of resources, port logistics, modern agriculture and infrastructure development. Sixth, the steady progress of major strategic projects in the fields of energy, nuclear power, aviation, aerospace and cross-border infrastructure construction, including smooth progress in the construction of the eastern route of the China-Russia natural gas pipeline, the active participation of Chinese enterprises in the Yamal LNG project, and the opening in Shanghai this May of a joint-venture to manufacture long-range wide-body passenger aircraft.

Having said this, joint efforts are still needed in order to scale up mutual investment and speed up SME cooperation. We need to strengthen the traditional areas of economic cooperation including China's import of oil, gas, coal, electricity and lumber and other major commodities; we need to expand the use of local currencies in our business ties; we need to implement the agreed investment projects; we need to make full use of the platforms offered by such events as the China-Russia Expo, St. Petersburg International Economic Forum and Eastern Economic Forum; and we need to unlock the potential of sub-national and border area cooperation through the Yangtze River - Volga River and China's northeast - Russia's far east mechanisms.

Our two countries' development would not be possible without that of the Eurasian continent and our growth will contribute to that of the continent as a whole. While attending the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation (BRF) this May in Beijing, President Putin stated that Russia supports and is willing to contribute to the Belt and Road Initiative. Our two countries are working actively to build synergy between the Belt and Road Initiative and the Eurasian Economic Union, as part of which the two sides are discussing an agreement on economic cooperation and a list of joint projects between China and the Eurasian Economic Union. This will help open up broader prospects for bilateral economic cooperation, facilitate trade and investment, create more opportunities for business cooperation, and effectively connect our industries, technologies, capital and markets, so that countries on the Eurasian continent will share in the benefit of economic globalization and regional integration.

In terms of major bilateral projects, we need to remain committed to promoting the integration of upper- and lower-stream cooperation in the field of energy. Major strategic projects are the cornerstone of economic cooperation, whose overall benefits and strategic significance cannot be reflected or measured simply by numbers. Recognizing this, we need to carry out more cooperation in joint research, production and wide application.

In terms of connectivity, we welcome and are willing to jointly develop and build the Primorye international transport corridor proposed by Russia. We hope the two sides will achieve the early completion of the major cross-border infrastructure projects, including China-Russia Tongjiang Railway Bridge (also known as the Amur International Rail Bridge) and the highway bridge in Heihe, Heilongjiang Province. We may also make joint efforts to develop and utilize maritime passageways, particularly the Northern Sea Route, realize a "Silk Road on ice". These connectivity projects will create new impetus for the in-depth development of our economic cooperation and trade.

SMEs are important drivers of economic growth, a wellspring of innovation and a major source of new jobs. Our two governments need to put in place favorable conditions to further incentivize SME cooperation so that SMEs and large enterprises will develop in tandem, seek complementarity and jointly explore markets in third countries.

To sum up, both President Putin and I are of the view that our two countries need to deepen economic cooperation and trade to strengthen our bond of shared interests. At the same time, we need to take a long-term view and open up our economies to each other for mutual benefit. This will help enhance the comprehensive strength and international competitiveness of our two countries and deliver more benefits of our cooperation to people in both countries.

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349