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Russia-China Conference on Shared Development of Russian Far East and Chinese Northeast

Beijing hosted a meeting on Dec.15 of the co-chairs of the Intergovernmental Russian-Chinese Commission on Cooperation and Development of the Russian Far East and Northeast China. The Russian part of the commission is headed by Deputy Prime Minister and Presidential Plenipotentiary Envoy to the Far Eastern Federal District Yury Trutnev, and the Chinese part by Vice Premier of the State Council of the People’s Republic of China Zhang Guoqing.

Trutnev stated: “This meeting, taking place ahead of the 28th regular meeting of the Russian and Chinese heads of government, is of great importance. The world is changing rapidly. Russia is involved in the special military operation. Western states have declared an economic war on our country and imposed thousands of sanctions that aim to stop Russia’s development. All these attempts have fallen flat.” Trutnev characterized Western attacks on Russia: “These factors do not promote the development of humanity. Therefore, the preservation and development of the time-tested friendly ties between the Russian Federation and the People’s Republic of China creates one of the global axes stabilizing the situation in the world as a whole.”

Zhang Guoquing, who is a member of the CCP Politburo, said: “This year, President of China Xi Jinping and President of Russia Vladimir Putin met twice. The leaders of our states are developing a high-level strategic partnership. Political trust is building up and trade is steadily on the rise. The current session is focused on implementing the instructions of our leaders with a view to preparing the agenda for a meeting of the prime ministers. The deepening of Russian-Chinese cooperation is going on beyond the bilateral framework and acquiring global importance.”

Trade between the Far Eastern regions of Russia and northeastern provinces of China doubled between 2012 and 2022 to reach $22 billion. Accelerating some, it is expected to reach $27 billion in 2023. The prospects of cooperation in developing the Northern Sea Route were discussed.

Overall, bilateral trade between China and Russia is expected to reach $220 billion by the end of 2023, a 51% growth relative to its $145.7 billion level in 2021.