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Putin in China to hold talks with Chinese head, Mongolia, Iraq, Afghan leaders, UN chief

May 20, 2014, 3:11 UTC+3 MOSCOW

Russian President arrived in China on a two-day official visit

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© ITAR-TASS/ Alexei Nikolsky

MOSCOW, May 20 /ITAR-TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in China on a two-day official visit. RF presidential aide Yuri Ushakov told reporters that the president would hold talks in Shanghai on Tuesday with Chinese President Xi Jinping and on Wednesday would attend a summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA).

During the visit Putin will also hold separate bilateral meetings with some summit participants, in particular, Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj, President of Afghanistan Hamid Karzai and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani.

A separate meeting of Putin with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is also planned. “The sides intend to exchange views on all important international issues, including on the situation in Ukraine,” RF presidential aide Yuri Ushakov told Itar-Tass.

In addition, Putin will talk to the former President of the People’s Republic of China Jiang Zemin, “whom Vladimir Vladimirovich knows very well,” Ushakov added.

The visit programme will begin with the official welcoming ceremony for the Russian leader. After that Putin and Xi Jinping will hold a meeting in the narrow and then expanded format. Ushakov noted that the Russian delegation comprises a large number of ministers, as well as heads of regions. The visit programme also includes the signing of bilateral documents. Then the sides will make a stamen for the press, after which the two heads of state will meet representatives of the business community. The Chinese president will also give an official reception in honour of the Russian president, after which they will attend the opening of the Naval Interaction 2014 exercise.

In the evening, a gala concert and an official lunch in honour of the heads of the delegations, participating in the summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia will be given. Its working meetings will be held on May 21.

Ushakov recalled that the current meeting between the heads of Russia and China is the second this year. They had previously met at the opening of the Sochi Olympics in February. According to Ushakov, the two heads of state plan to discuss important issues of the development of relations in various spheres, including interaction in the international arena. The side will pay major attention, in particular, to the work within the framework of the United Nations, BRICS group (bringing together Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) and a number of regional structures, he said. On the talks’ results, the sides are expected to adopt a statement on a new stage in Russian-Chinese relations of comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction.

Ushakov also said that the package of documents that is planned to be signed in Shanghai would break a record in terms of the volume. “The package consists of 40 - 43 documents. The package that we have now is perhaps a record-breaking,” Ushakov said. He noted, in particular, that the sides continued the preparation of the contract between Russia’s natural gas monopoly Gazprom and China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC).

The RF presidential aide said that part of the agreements might be signed in Shanghai on May 20 on the results of Russian-Chinese summit talks. Another part of the documents that have the nature of inter-corporate agreements is likely to be signed in the presence of the presidents of the two countries during their meeting with Russian and Chinese business leaders.

Ushakov said that the heads of Russia’s largest companies would take part in the forthcoming talks and meetings in Shanghai during Putin’s visit. According to him, the Russian business will be represented by a total of 46 leaders, including Gazprom CEO Aleksei Miller, head of the oil company Rosneft Igor Sechin, as well as the major businessmen Gennady Timchenko and Oleg Deripaska.

The RF presidential aide noted that China is Russia’s main trade partner. In 2013, the bilateral trade reached a record high level of 88.8 billion U.S. dollars (1.7-percent increase from the 2012 level). In the first quarter of 2014, the growth of this indicator continued and reached 2.2% In the view of Ushakov, if this trend persists, the sides may reach by 2015 the level of 100 billion U.S. dollars, and by 2020 - 200 billion U.S. dollars.

The chronology of Russian leaders’ visits to China

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