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China supports Russia’s integrational initiatives — Foreign Ministry

May 23, 17:24 UTC+3 BEIJING
China respects and supports the efforts of corresponding sides on boosting regional cooperation with the aim of common development and prosperity
1 pages in this article
© Yuri Smityuk/TASS

BEIJING, May 23. /TASS/. China supports Russia’s integrational initiatives on linking the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), Silk Road Economic Belt (SREB), Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) announced by President Vladimir Putin at the Russia-ASEAN summit in Sochi on May 20, the Foreign Ministry said in a commentary obtained by TASS on Monday.

"China respects and supports the efforts of corresponding sides on boosting regional cooperation with the aim of common development and prosperity, and wants to continue active cooperation in the framework of linking SREB and EAEU, as well as jointly consider the initiative on deepening practical cooperation in the region in the framework of SCO on the basis of unity principle for all member states of the organization," the commentary said.

Russian President Vladimir Putin last Friday called for joint efforts in cooperation in the framework of the EAEU-SCO-ASEAN, although the process is complex. "All participants of today's meeting agreed - we need to join efforts of integration associations, at least in those areas where it is possible," Putin said.

According to Putin, this will eliminate repetition in the work of integration associations and create favorable conditions for business development. "This is a complex process that is always associated with very substantive talks, not only on countries, but mainly on commodity groups. That is why we are very well aware of it," the president said. He noted that countries are going to move in this direction "gradually."

"As for our Chinese friends, we need to discuss this question. We generally know their position and the idea of the Silk Road Economic Belt is very close to what we discussed today," Putin said. "That's why I do not see any contradictions here. On the contrary, I know about China's position on joining our efforts in the framework of the Silk Road economic belt and the EAEU. In general all our plans in this regard are completely complementary," Putin concluded.

EAEU and Silk Road Economic Belt

On 8 May 2015, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping signed an agreement on cooperation in the framework of the Silk Road Economic Belt project. The agreement envisages "linking" the Eurasian Economic Union and the Silk Road Economic Belt. "In fact, we are talking about entering the new level of partnership in the future that envisages common economic space on the Eurasian continent," Russian President Vladimir Putin said after talks.

The Silk Road Economic Belt is a project of creating a transport, energy and trade corridor between the countries of Asia and Europe. The idea of constructing the Silk Road was put forward by Chinese President Xi Jinping in September 2013.

The name of the project traces back to trade routes of medieval caravans that lay through the territories of modern Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Mongolia, India, Turkey, Iran and Greece. These routes were later called the "Great Silk Road.".

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