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Special> Fourth Summit of Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia> Opinion
UPDATED: May 20, 2014
Putin's Visit to Inject Vigor into Top-Level China-Russia Exchanges

The top-level exchanges between Beijing and Moscow are given yet another shot of power by Russian President Vladimir Putin's ongoing visit to China.

Putin arrived in Shanghai early Tuesday for a visit to China, as well as attending the fourth Summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA). He will have face-to-face talks with Chinese President Xi Jinping for the second time in three months.

In February, the two leaders discussed ways of advancing ties in Russia's Sochi on the occasion of the Winter Olympics.

As spring is in the air, Putin is shaking hands with the Chinese people again to further enhance mutual trust and support, whilst an expected "substantial" statement after the two leaders' meeting could be the latest evidence of a flourishing season in bilateral cooperation.

Unprecedented mutual trust

China and Russia have witnessed fruitful development of bilateral ties since the two neighbors forged diplomatic relations 65 years ago.

The comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination that the two sides have built allows them to collaborate closer and understand and back each other on issues of core interests to a greater extent.

Liu Guchang, former Chinese ambassador to Russia, said the strategic mutual trust between China and Russia is at a level never reached before, and leaders of the two countries have been candid with each other and no topics is untouchable whenever they meet.

For his part, Qu Xing, head of China Institute of International Studies, hailed the China-Russia relationship featuring equality and trust, mutual support, common prosperity and long-lasting friendship as an example of relations between major countries across the world.

Meanwhile, high-level mutual trust is also a key trait in bilateral ties as it facilitates the two sides' mutually beneficial cooperation in a variety of spheres, he said.

Strategic cooperation expanding

Leaders of China and Russia have earlier agreed that they hope to see bilateral trade volume increase to 100 trillion U.S. dollars by 2015 and 200 trillion dollars by 2020, Liu said, noting that it is possible the first target can be achieved ahead of time.

Bilateral cooperation in energy, finance, high-tech, and aviation and aerospace is upgrading and scaling up, said Liu.

In the energy sector, for instance, the nearly 1,000 km-long crude oil pipeline began full operation in 2011, carrying 15 million tons of crude oil annually from oilfields in Russia's far-east into China until 2030.

According to Feng Yujun, an expert with China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, Russia's crude oil export to China could reach 40 million tons a year if plus those shipped via sea.

"During Putin's visit, the two sides may also sign cooperation agreements on natural gas," said Feng, who added that China and Russia have also made huge strides in nuclear, coal and electricity cooperation over the years.

Jointly promoting Asian security

As political and economic collaboration is gaining momentum, closer security cooperation between China and Russia is also badly needed as complicated challenges including the "three evil forces" of separatism, extremism and terrorism, drug trafficking and cross-border crimes have been the headache of the wider Asian region.

In the meantime, unilateralism and hegemony do not rest, and external forces, acting in collusion with their "allies" in Asia, never stop making trouble in the region in an attempt to disturb China's relations with its neighbors, Liu warned.

He said intensified coordination and cooperation between the two countries will be conducive not only to safeguarding their own security and stability, but to the whole region as well.

Russia is a member of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, a participant of the six-way dialogue on the nuclear issue of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, and a cooperative partner of Association of Southeast Asian Nations countries, said Feng, hailing its clear strategic consideration on maintaining the safety of the Asia-Pacific region.

He also spoke highly of China-Russia cooperation within the frameworks of the CICA and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, saying the "top-level design" in the two countries' comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination will be demonstrated in the new meeting between the leaderships.

(Xinhua News Agency May 20, 2014)

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