Chinese President Xi Jinping is in Russia on his first foreign trip since becoming China's head of state earlier this month. During talks with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin, Xi said his visit demonstrates the special nature of the China-Russia relationship. The two leaders have inked a statement to foster bilateral ties.
A new leader strengthening an old partnership. It's a significant gesture that China's new President chose Russia to be the first country to visit since becoming the country's top leader.
International media outlets have also been eagerly covering the global debut of China's new first lady, Peng Liyuan, whose career as a famous folk singer, is hoped will help project China's soft power.
Their three-day visit to Russia is jam packed.
First on Xi's list is to strengthen cooperation with Russia, with the Chinese President calling for a new type of great-power relations in the international arena.
For his part, Putin extended a warm welcome to Xi at the Kremlin.
The two leaders discussed major regional and world issues, aiming to help "shape a new and more just world order."
"Russia and China have close or similar positions on key international and regional issues. We intend to firmly defend goals and principles of the United Nations Charter, as well as the universally recognised code of international relations to protect justice and equality in the world, and to ensure peace, stability and prosperity on the planet," Xi said.
The two leaders inked a joint statement on deepening their comprehensive strategic, cooperative partnership and articulated their common vision. Top on the list is to achieve a balanced development of economic cooperation in terms of both quality and quantity and a more diversified trade structure.
Putin echoed Xi, saying "I agreed with the Chinese president to do whatever it takes to further develop our economic and trade cooperation, humanitarian and other ties. A lot of our joint projects reassure us that we will reach $100 billion in trade in the near future and $150 billion soon after that."
Meanwhile, the two sides vowed to boost bilateral investment and promote the use of their own currencies in trade, direct investments and lending.
They will also build a solid strategic cooperative relationship on energy by cooperating actively in the fields of oil, natural gas, coal, electricity and new energy, adding that they will continue their close collaboration in the peaceful use of nuclear energy.
In addition, the two sides agreed to boost cooperation in agriculture, environmental protection, advanced technologies, aviation manufacturing, cross-border transport and youth exchanges.
After visiting Russia, Xi will travel to Tanzania, the Republic of Congo and South Africa, where he will attend the fifth BRICS Leaders Summit in Durban.
(CNTV.cn March 23, 2013)