Deutsche Presse-Agentur | 9 November 2006
China, Russia agree to expand energy, trade links
Beijing — China and Russia agreed to expand cooperation in energy, trade and other areas Thursday, signing contracts worth more than 800 million dollars, the Chinese government said.
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov and Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao held talks on a wide range of trade and other economic issues before attending the signing of documents including a bilateral agreement to promote and protect investments.
Wen proposed expanding cooperation in energy, trade, science and technology, education and the environment, state television said.
The investment agreement ’aims to provide a legal foundation for expanding bilateral trade and further facilitate two-way investment and cooperation,’ the official Xinhua News Agency quoted Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov as saying.
Zhukov and Chinese Vice Premier Wu Yi attended the signing of eight contracts earlier Thursday, the agency said.
The agreements covered mining, trade, energy, vehicle assembly and infrastructure construction and were signed at the end of a Sino- Russian Investment Promotion Week.
They commit Chinese firms to investments totalling 800 million dollars.
Other projects include a glass factory and a wood processing plant, the agency said.
Wu said the agreements should help boost bilateral trade to 60 billion to 80 billion dollars by 2010, more than double the 2005 figure.
China was hoping that Russia would pledge greater commitment to building an oil pipeline to China through Central Asia during Fradkov’s two-day visit, but it was not clear if Fradkov gave any assurances on the oil pipeline.
Russia has begun a feasibility study for construction of a branch pipeline to China with the main pipeline ending in Russia’s far east, close to Japan.
’The energy cooperation between China and Russia is part and parcel of the strategic and cooperative partnership between the two countries,’ Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Jiang Yu said before Fradkov’s visit.
’To build a crude-oil pipeline from Russia to China is an agreement between the leaders of the two countries,’ Jiang said.
Russia’s Interfax news agency quoted Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander, who also held talks in Beijing Thursday, as saying Russia was still ’analyzing the organizational and technological aspects’ of the pipeline to China.