Press Conferences

11 october, 2011 15:53

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao speak to reporters following bilateral talks

Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart Wen Jiabao speak to reporters following bilateral talks
The latest round of Russian-Chinese talks in Beijing has reaffirmed the truly strategic nature of bilateral relations, Mr Putin told the media, adding that the political dialogue between the two countries continues to advance, the horizons of their cultural exchange are expanding, and economic and regional cooperation is growing stronger.


Wen Jiabao (as translated): Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen! It is a pleasure for me, along with Prime Minister Putin, to meet with you here today.  

Today, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin and I held our 16th regular meeting of our two countries’ heads of government. We exchanged views on issues of bilateral significance as well as on Russian-Chinese cooperation in various areas. 

As a result, we have come to an agreement on a wide range of issues. We also signed a joint communiqué following the 16th regular meeting of our two countries’ heads of government. I believe that today’s meeting with Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has yielded tangible results. I am certain that this meeting will give a further impetus to the development of Chinese-Russian relations, strategic partnership, cooperation and will further promote Russian-Chinese cooperation in a variety of areas.  

We are united in our belief that the development of Chinese-Russian relations, our comprehensive strategic partnership and our collaboration are characterised by equality, mutual trust and support, prosperity and a centuries-old friendship, and that they represent the fundamental interests of our nations and our people. We are positive in our assessment of the results of our regular meetings between the heads of government of our two countries. In the year following our last meeting we noted that in our bilateral trade and economic partnership we managed to overcome the negative effects of the global financial crisis. Today we are witnessing steady growth and revived trade contacts between our two nations. We have every reason to believe that by the end of the year the Chinese-Russian trade turnover will reach 70 billion US dollars. This is a new record.    

At the same time, the Russian-Chinese oil pipeline is currently in good working order. We have successfully launched a commodity exchange, and trading between the yuan and the rouble is off to a good start. The central banks of Russia and China have signed an agreement to make trade payments in our national currencies. All these accomplishments indicate that the mechanism of the regular meetings between the heads of government of Russia and China plays a valuable role in advancing our multilateral cooperation. 

At the meeting, the sides came to a complete agreement on the price of oil in the Russian-Chinese pipeline. We also agreed to continue to actively further our mutually beneficial cooperation in the sphere of oil and gas, specifically, to complete priority projects in this area that have been coordinated previously. We intend to advance our partnership in space, aviation, coal mining, power engineering, construction of cross-border infrastructure facilities, water management, environmental protection and agriculture. China and Russia, jointly with our partners from the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO), will work on easing the terms of transportation within the area of the SCO. We will also try to open a Shanghai Cooperation Organisation Development Bank, promote cultural cooperation and reach new success in cooperation within the Organisation.          

At the meeting we determined that Chinese-Russian cooperation is multilateral and mutually beneficial. We believe that our cooperation offers excellent potential and abundant opportunities. We intend to work in collaboration with our Russian partners on expanding our partnership further; in particular, on improving trade between our two countries and increasing the volume of trade and investment within our two nations.         

It is very important that we continue to strengthen scientific and technical cooperation between our nations. It is crucial that we further expand interregional cooperation for the sake of collaborative development, and for the prosperity of the border regions in China and Russia. We also consider the development of  Russian-Chinese cultural cooperation and exchange to be of the utmost importance. At the meeting, both parties agreed to draft a Chinese-Russian cultural cooperation plan of action for the next decade. We also agreed to hold a year of tourism in Russia and China next year and in the coming years to strengthen the foundation of our relations, allowing the roots of our age-old friendship to reach deep into the hearts of the Russian and Chinese people.

Mr Putin, I would like to emphasise that your current visit to China and today's meeting hold considerable significance. Today we worked together in the spirit of trust, friendship and goodwill. We believe that the present conditions are unique and highly favourable for the further development of Chinese-Russian relations. And it is of crucial importance today that our relations continue to offer unprecedented and significant opportunities. With this in mind, we are ready to work closely with our Russian partners to achieve even more brilliant success in the strengthening of our strategic cooperation and the further development of our  partnership in various spheres. In a word, we have the utmost confidence and optimism about the future of Chinese-Russian relations. Thank you.

Vladimir Putin: Mr Wen Jiabao, ladies and gentlemen,

Our meeting today is the culmination of the consistent efforts made by various companies, ministries and government agencies of Russia and the People’s Republic of China. I would like to thank Premier Wen Jiabao and all of our Chinese and Russian counterparts for the work they’ve done to organise today’s meeting and to ensure its success.

I would like to emphasise that 2011 is a very special year for the Russian-Chinese relationship, marking the tenth anniversary of the Treaty on Neighbourly Relations, Friendship and Cooperation as well as the founding of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation.

In the course of our 16th prime ministerial meeting, we discussed in detail some of the recent issues of bilateral cooperation in almost every sphere. Our talks today reaffirmed the truly strategic nature of our relations. The political dialogue between the two countries continues to advance, the horizons of their cultural exchange are expanding, and their economic and regional cooperation is growing stronger.  

Mr Wen Jiabao said just now that our bilateral trade appears set to reach new heights. Let me remind you that we reached our pre-crisis trade peak in 2008, with trade at a little under $56 billion. This year, it is certain to reach $70 billion and perhaps even $80 billion. At any rate, we are going to exceed the pre-crisis level considerably.

I’m sure we have everything it takes to bring our bilateral trade up to at least $100 billion by the year 2015 and to $200 billion by 2020. I think everyone would agree that given the current difficulties in the world economy, in the United States and in the European Union, Russian-Chinese cooperation plays a stabilising role and benefits both our economies and our nations.

We will create incentives to promote closer industrial cooperation, working to forge promising technological alliances, to implement infrastructure projects, and to increase mutual capital investment. Our aim is to diversify trade and economic ties between our two countries. We have already developed a whole set of tools to carry out such tasks, including the Investment Cooperation Plan and the Programme of Interaction between Regions of the Far East, Eastern Siberia and Northeastern China. 

We’re going to focus our energy on increasing the use of advanced technology and the number of skilled jobs. At our meeting today, we put particular emphasis on investment in the most promising of sectors, primarily ones where we boast high scientific potential and substantial resources, including labour resources. These include space exploration, telecommunications, mechanical engineering, the aircraft industry, agriculture, and the defence industry.

The energy industry is a major area of cooperation, one that deserves separate consideration. In this sector, our initiatives are yielding tangible results and helping us reconfigure the regional energy network. We’re running large-scale collaborative projects in hydrocarbon production and supply, in energy saving technology, and in conventional electricity generation.

We’re also planning to lay new energy routes. As you know, the Skovorodino-Daqing oil pipeline has been pumping crude oil since January 1, 2011. Russian and Chinese companies are beginning to work together to locate and develop new oil and natural gas deposits, including on the continental shelf. We’re already nearing the final stage of our work on natural gas supplies to the Chinese market. Preparations are underway for the construction of a large oil refinery in China’s Tianjin. Drawing from the expertise we acquired while building the Tianwan nuclear power station, we’ll try to develop closer cooperation in nuclear engineering, on the basis of some of the world’s most advanced technology and with due account of all possible risks, which we’re determined to reduce essentially to zero. But our cooperation isn’t limited to the construction of nuclear reactors. We intend to collaborate in scientific research, and to develop and carry out promising joint projects. We also foresee cooperation in hydroelectric engineering as well as in the development of alternative energy sources.

Earlier today, plans were mentioned for the broader use of the yuan and the rouble for mutual settlements, both for commercial transactions and for investments. This would be convenient and beneficial for all economic actors, and we could thereby insure ourselves against many modern-day risks.

We’ll continue to pay as much and even more attention to cultural cooperation. We have certain plans in this area, and are now working to develop adequate tools. As was said earlier, we’ve agreed to draw up a cultural cooperation roadmap.

In conclusion, I would like to say once again that I’m really pleased with today’s talks and their results. They were substantive and useful, and the atmosphere was very friendly, for which I’d like to thank our Chinese friends.