"Friends forever": Russia and China hope to strengthen economic ties

Russia and China were hoping to strengthen economic ties as their leaders signed more than 30 deals on infrastructure, trade, innovation and technology during President Vladimir Putin's visit to Beijing on Saturday, the Xinhua news agency reported.

The Russian president earlier met his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping and Prime Minister Li Keqiang to agree to an expansion of their trading links.

While the "fluctuations in the global economy" and a "lack of stability" on the raw materials and currency markets had affected the two countries, he hoped this trend could be reversed, Putin was quoted as saying by Russia's official news agency Tass.

According to Tass, the two countries among others signed a deal to develop a new long-distance aircraft to compete with Airbus and Boeing.

They are also hoping to clinch an agreement on a high-speed railway line between Moscow and Kazan, some 700 kilometres east of the capital, by the end of the year.

Putin praised close relations with its "strategic coordination partner," while Xi said the two countries promoted the idea of "being friends forever."

Russia is hoping that closer ties with China will mitigate the effect of trade sanctions imposed by the United States and the European Union over its annexation of Crimea.

However, many deals have only been progressing slowly over Chinese investors' distrust of the Russian economy and Russia's fear of increasing economic dependence on China.

Last update: Sat, 25/06/2016 - 17:42
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