MOSCOW, April 24 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang is to pay an official visit to Russia on April 26-30 in a time when bilateral relations have hit an all-time high.
The two neighbors have maintained frequent high-level political contacts. Chinese President Hu Jintao just met his Russian counterpart Dmitry Medvedev in late March on the sidelines of the fourth BRICS Summit in New Delhi, india and both sides agreed to lift bilateral ties to a new height.
The upcoming visit by Li to Moscow is expected to enhance bilateral relations and facilitate cooperation.
The good relations between China and Russia have already borne fruits in their pragmatic cooperation, especially in economy and trade.
According to the Russian Federal Customs Service, China became Russia's top trade partner in the first two months of 2012, with bilateral trade volume growing by 21.1 percent year-on-year to 13.3 billion U.S. dollars.
Russian Upper House Speaker Valentina Matviyenko told Xinhua she believed bilateral trade would hit 100 billion U.S. dollars in 2015 and 200 billion dollars in 2020, a target set by both Chinese and Russian leaders.
"Economic cooperation between the two has been developing successfully ... Taking into account our common wills in mutually beneficial cooperation, this goal is quite realistic," Matviyenko said.
The two counties have also joined their hands to promote cultural and people-to-people exchanges over the last two decades.
China and Russia started to revitalize their cultural cooperation since the 1990s, and have held many annual events to bring each other closer, Chinese Ambassador to Russia Li Hui told Xinhua.
For example, China is holding the "Tourism Year of Russia" in 2012 and the "Tourism Year of China" will be held in Russia next year, as agreed by the two heads of state. Past reciprocal events include the "National Years" in 2006 and 2007, and the "Years of Language" in 2009 and 2010, Li said.
Li said such events will promote cultural exchanges and elevate China-Russian cooperation to a higher level.
"The development of cultural and people-to-people exchanges between China and Russia has played an irreplaceable role in promoting their comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination," he said.
Besides, the two countries have also demonstrated close cooperation and coordination on the international stage.
Both as permanent members of the UN Security Council, China and Russia have worked closely on addressing key international issues, such as seeking a peaceful settlement to the Syrian crisis and facilitating a sooner resumption of talks over Iran's nuclear program.
Russian political expert Yuri Tavrovsky told Xinhua that coordination between Russia and China over international affairs is of vital importance to world peace and prosperity.
It also showed that the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination is not a titular one, he said.
On security cooperation, the two countries have conducted several joint military exercises within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, with the latest being a joint maritime drill on April 22-27 in the Yellow Sea off China's eastern coast.
Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said in March that China is willing to intensify practical cooperation with Russia in such fields as economy and trade, energy, science and technology, infrastructure, and at local levels.
"We are confident that with the joint efforts of the two countries, the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination will achieve even greater results," the foreign minister said.