President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Comrade Wang Yang, friends and colleagues,
It gives me great pleasure to welcome you to Vladivostok. You know that I have held extensive talks with the President of China, Comrade Xi Jinping, who is a big friend of Russia. I would like to again congratulate our Chinese friends on the success of this BRICS summit.
I would like to say that you personally are doing a great deal to promote Russian-Chinese ties. In this context, I will sign an executive order to award you the Order of Friendship. You will receive the order during your meeting with Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev.
I know that you have a packed agenda. You have been to one city today, and tomorrow you will travel to another city, Khabarovsk. You have come here from a trip to Volgograd, and in Khabarovsk you will chair a meeting of the Intergovernmental Commission on the development of relations between the Russian Far East and Northeast China.
I would like to say that nearly 200 Chinese companies were presented at the Eastern Economic Forum last year. Contracts worth nearly 2 trillion rubles, or more precisely 1.9 trillion rubles, were signed then. Total Chinese investments made in the Russian Far East in the past two years exceed $3 billion. This is evidence of our efforts to implement the agreements we reached with the President of China.
I am confident that we will be able to do a great deal at this year’s forum as well. We know that many of our Chinese friends, business people, have come to the forum. We hope that the volume of contracts we sign this year will be even larger than last year.
Your work has produced a solid practical result.
Vice Premier of the People’s Republic of China State Council Wang Yang (retranslated): Mr President,
First of all, I would like to thank you for your high opinion of the BRICS summit in Xiamen.
I also want to thank you for awarding me the Order of Friendship. It is a great honour for me, and I am ready to make even greater, maximum efforts to promote Chinese-Russian relations.
I also want to say that this is the second time you are receiving the Chinese delegation and me personally in the beautiful city of Vladivostok. I think that this is not just a protocol issue; it speaks to your great attention, the strengthening of the traditional friendship between our countries, as well as the efforts to intensify bilateral contacts.
Vladimir Putin: I remember that you attended the first forum in 2015. We met there.
Wang Yang: Yes. This is my third visit to Vladivostok.
Over the past three years, the implementation of the Far East development strategy has changed Vladivostok. I think that the changes in Vladivostok are a microcosm of all the changes in Russia. I want to note that in recent years, under your leadership, Russia has dealt with the sluggish growth of the world economy, and, despite the sanctions of the West, has maintained stability and solidarity in society. The Russian economy began to gradually, steadily recover. Key economic indicators improved. As a good neighbour, a reliable partner and a good friend, the Chinese side is sincerely glad for your success.
The Ambassador told me that during the BRICS summit, Chinese President Xi Jinping offered a new assessment of bilateral relations. He said that Chinese-Russian relations are not just relations, but comprehensive strategic partnership and cooperation, as well as friendship. For me, too, this is very positive, good news.
I think that as your friend, I can resolve other issues for you, leaving more time for you to relax. (Laughter.)
You know well the programme of my stay in Russia. Indeed, I held a meeting with Mr Rogozin yesterday, and tomorrow I am ready to take part in the work of the China-Russia business dialogue together with Mr Trutnev. The day after tomorrow, all of us will go to Khabarovsk to hold the first meeting of the intergovernmental commission. Such a high intensity and frequency of contacts is indicative of more active interaction between our countries. The main objective of my visit to Russia is to implement the agreements reached at the level of the heads of state.
I would like to tell you that Mr Rogozin, Mr Trutnev and I have established not only close working contacts; we are old, good friends.
Now let me say a few more words about the progress we made after our meeting in 2015. At that time, an initiative to strengthen cooperation in maritime affairs was put forward. I would like to let you know that last year, the Chinese Maritime Safety Administration and the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences undertook two joint expeditions to the Bering Sea, that is, in the Arctic area.
On September 20 of this year, the aforementioned organisations will hold a joint seminar on maritime research in Vladivostok. During the upcoming seminar, the First Institute of the Chinese Maritime Safety Administration will sign an agreement with the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences on establishing the Centre for the Study of Maritime and Climatic Conditions. These are the results of work in the area of maritime research.
I can assure you that it was not for nothing that you awarded me the Order of Friendship. (Laughter.) I did my bit to promote cooperation.
Thank you very much for the time accorded to me.
Vladimir Putin: President Xi Jinping’s assessments of the level and nature of our relations are absolutely objective and correspond to realities. But it is you and your Russian and Chinese colleagues who are creating the real substance behind all this in the course of your work. I would like to thank you for this again and wish you success.