President of Russia Vladimir Putin: President Xi, dear friend, Ladies and Gentlemen,
Allow me to begin by expressing my gratitude to President of China Xi Jinping for accepting our invitation to attend the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, for the first time as the main guest.
President Xi is accompanied in Vladivostok by a large delegation, which includes senior government officials, representatives of regional governments and business leaders.
Tomorrow, President Xi and I, together with the President of Mongolia and prime ministers of Korea and Japan, will take part in the forum’s plenary session. Today was President Xi’s working visit to Russia. It included talks during which we discussed the most urgent bilateral and international matters, and outlined further plans to promote the comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation between Russia and China.
As usual, we paid special attention to trade and economic cooperation. We noted with satisfaction that bilateral trade increased by almost one third in the first six months of the year, reaching $50 billion. We have every reason to believe that by the end of the year, trade will reach a record high of $100 billion.
The signing in May 2018 of the Agreement on Trade and Economic Cooperation between the EAEU and China creates additional opportunities for expanding bilateral trade flows.
Russia and China reaffirmed their interest in expanding the use of national currencies in bilateral deals, which would improve the stability of banking services during export and import transactions under the risky conditions on the global markets.
Energy is an important area of cooperation. Last year, Russia supplied 30 million tonnes of oil to China as part of intergovernmental agreements, or over 52 million tonnes when commercial deals are taken into account.
The construction of the Power of Siberia pipeline is being carried out as planned. The launch is scheduled for late 2019. Agreement has been reached on the main conditions for gas supply from the Far East. Chinese investors own a large share in the Yamal LNG project. Clients in 14 countries, including China, have received four million tonnes of liquefied natural gas from this enterprise since December 2017.
China imports a large proportion of its electricity and coal from Russia. Russian-Chinese cooperation in the peaceful atom sphere is also developing. The first stage of the Tianwan Nuclear Power Plant is already in operation. This year, the third unit has been completed and the fourth is soon to be ready. Rosatom plans to build two more units there.
We also note the expanding cooperation in science, in the peaceful use of nuclear energy. In addition, cooperation in agriculture is developing. Exports of Russian agricultural products to China increased by more than 50 percent during the first six months of this year: for example, 656,000 tonnes of grain were exported, more than during the whole of 2017.
We continue negotiations aimed at increasing the number of the Russian regions that can export wheat to China and at simplifying mutual supplies of meat and dairy products.
We consider the strengthening of direct ties between Russian regions and Chinese provinces to be especially important. The 2018–2019 Years of Interregional Cooperation should promote this.
President Xi Jinping and I will also meet with the participants of the roundtable discussion involving heads of Russian and Chinese regions.
Much work is being done by the Intergovernmental Commission for Cooperation and Development of the Far East and Baikal Region of Russia and Northeast China. The second meeting of the commission in Dalian in August focused on the expansion of the border infrastructure and international transport corridors.
Our humanitarian ties are multifaceted. The citizens of both countries show an increasing interest in mutual tourism. I must note that a record number of Chinese fans, about 70,000, visited the FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Our cooperation in education, culture, sports, and youth exchanges is deepening.
We can see growing interaction between our countries in international organisations such as the UN, the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, BRICS, the G20, and others.
We will continue our joint efforts towards political and diplomatic settlement on the Korean Peninsula in accordance with the Russian-Chinese roadmap.
We support the steps taken by the leadership of South and North Korea to restore bilateral relations and hope that the next inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang will be effective. We consider the normalisation of relations between North Korea and the United States an important component in the overall stabilisation process on the Korean Peninsula.
In conclusion, I would like to thank our Chinese friends for an informative and constructive dialogue. I am confident that these talks as well as numerous contacts at the Eastern Economic Forum will serve to further the development of friendly relations between our peoples and countries.
President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping (retranslated): President Putin, ladies and gentlemen, good afternoon.
I am very pleased to meet you together with my close friend President Putin. This is my seventh visit to Russia as President of China but it is the first time I take part in the Eastern Economic Forum. I was in Vladivostok eight years ago. This time I see a city that looks both familiar as well as new. I am sincerely happy that the city is developing dynamically.
Today in the afternoon President Putin and I held sincere, deep and fruitful talks, discussed a wide range of matters related to bilateral relations and the topical international agenda and reached important agreements.
After this we continued our joint programme: we have a roundtable discussion with the heads of Chinese and Russian regions planned. All these events are very important and representative; they show how wide and deep our cooperation is. Tomorrow President Putin and I will take part in the 4th Eastern Economic Forum where we will discuss cooperation and development plans with countries of the region.
During the last four months President Putin and I have already had three meetings. This intensity of contacts proves the high level and special character of Russian-Chinese relations and stresses their priority in our foreign policy. Spanning over a period up until the close of the year President Putin and I have a number of other meetings scheduled which will take place at important events to continue our contacts.
The President and I agree that since the beginning of this year Russian-Chinese relations have been showing dynamic growth, have entered a new era of rapid development and are reaching a higher level. The parties reaffirmed firm mutual support in the choice of the development path that agrees with the national features of both countries as well as our security and development interests. All of this can serve as an example of what relations should be like between states and neighbour countries.
We are pleased to see that, step by step, joint efforts are turning the political advantages and strategic values of our bilateral relations into substantive results of cooperation. The bilateral trade grew to $58.3 billion during the first seven months of this year, which is 25.8 percent higher than during the same period last year.
Our trade is making progress. Both sides are actively working on the rapprochement of the projects One Belt, One Road and the EAEU, promoting large strategic projects in the energy sector, aviation, space and transport links and also developing our cooperation in new spheres, such as finance, agriculture, and e-commerce. Cooperation is impressive both in quantity and quality, it’s being filled with new content and its borders are expanding.
We are developing our cultural and humanitarian cooperation. The ties between citizens of our countries are becoming increasingly closer. Records are being broken one after another when it comes to the number of student exchanges and tourists. We are particularly pleased to note the strengthening of the mutual understanding and friendship among young people.
The Ocean Russian Children’s Centre in Vladivostok is the best example of love and friendship and demonstrates the true feelings of our young people. I am sure that this will build up the inexhaustible strength of friendship between China and Russia.
This and next years are years of interregional cooperation between China and Russia. A number of major events are being held in this connection. The regional cooperation mechanism in the formats Northeast of China – Russia’s Far East and the Yangtze Volga rivers is developing. Contacts and cooperation between other regions of our countries are also growing.
President Putin and I reaffirm our active support for comprehensive interregional cooperation and the establishment of twin ties between cities, provinces and regions, and all-round interregional cooperation for promoting friendship of our nations. I am sure that tomorrow’s Eastern Economic Forum will give a fresh impetus to the deepening of interregional cooperation in the Far East as well as other areas.
As permanent members of the UN Security Council and leading countries in the developing markets, China and Russia bear enormous responsibility for the maintenance of peace and stability together with the promotion of the development and prosperity all over the world.
We have similar or identical positions on international matters, broad common interests and firm foundations for cooperation. China-Russia cooperation in maintaining equality, justice, peace and stability throughout the entire world is gaining ever more importance against a backdrop of growing instability and unpredictability on a global scale.
Together with our Russian colleagues we will be promoting our fruitful cooperation in international affairs and step up our coordination at multilateral venues, such as the UN, SCO, and BRICS. In cooperation with the international community we will facilitate political settlement of urgent matters and hot spots and firmly uphold the goals and principles of the UN Charter. We will work together against the unilateral approach and trade protectionism, and for the creation of a new type of international relations and common destiny of humankind.
I would like to sincerely thank President Putin and our Russian friends once again for the warm and hospitable welcome accorded to the Chinese delegation during its visit to the Far East. I would also like to wish tomorrow’s Eastern Economic Forum every success.