Related story: Russian President Putin to visit China
BEIJING, March 9 (Xinhuanet) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin will pay a state visit to China from March 21 to 22, a visit which analysts say will facilitate the pragmatic comprehensive cooperation, including energy cooperation, between the two countries.
"President Putin's visit aims to enrich current Sino-Russian cooperation by launching more pragmatic and down-to-earth programs since China and Russia began carrying out most of their cooperation at the government level in the previous years," said Jiang Yi, a researcher from the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences (CASS).
With regards to energy cooperation, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said Thursday that "energy cooperation between China and Russia is mutually beneficial and complies with the interests of both countries."
Qin described energy cooperation as a major part of Sino-Russian comprehensive cooperation, saying "China will work with Russia in an effort to enhance cooperation in the energy field."
China and Russia have agreed to ensure a steady oil supply to China by rail, promising an annual supply of at least 15 million tons of oil as of 2006, according to a communique issued by the two governments last year.
They will also promote gas cooperation and step up the study and implementation of the gas transmission project from eastern Siberia and the Far East to China, says the communique.
Chinese President Hu Jintao will host talks with Putin on how to deepen Sino-Russian strategic and cooperative partnership and on major international and regional issues, Qin said, adding that the two sides will also ink a series of cooperative agreements.
"Apart from bilateral relations, the two sides may also discuss such issues as the six-party talks on the Korean nuclear issue, the Iranian nuclear standoff as well as the Middle East issue," said Jiang.
China and Russia, sharing a 4,300-km-long border, have stepped up their cooperation in such fields as political trust, trade, military and energy. The two countries have signed a treaty of friendly cooperation and, after 40 years of negotiations, put an end to their border disputes.
During his two-day visit in Beijing, Putin will also attend the opening ceremonies of the Year of Russia and a Sino-Russian business summit forum, Qin said.
"The programs will help increase understanding and exchanges between the two peoples, which lays a solid foundation of sound development of China-Russia relations," Jiang acknowledged.
The Year of Russia scheduled for 2006 and the Year of China for 2007 were declared in a joint statement last year. The two goodwill programs will involve a wide spectrum of areas.
On trade cooperation, the bilateral trade volume totaled 29.1 billion U.S. dollars in 2005, 37.1 percent up over 2004. China is now Russia's fourth largest trading partner while Russia is China's eighth largest trading partner, according to statistics from China's General Administration of Customs.
"We are now planning to bring trade to 60 billion dollars by 2010," Putin was quoted as saying early this year.
The sound cooperation between the two militaries also bore witness of a deeper Russia-China relationship. In August 2005, the two armed forces launched their first-ever joint military drill.
"The visit is expected to boost the all-round development of the Sino-Russian Strategic Partnership of Cooperation, and facilitate world peace, stability and development," Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing said on Tuesday. Enditem