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China’s new President Xi Jinping visited Moscow at the end of the week. Moscow and Beijing agreed to increase supplies of Russian hydrocarbons to China and to build new pipeline branches in the southern direction. Besides, Xi Jinping said the armies of the two countries hold joint military exercises.
The Nezavisimaya Gazeta daily quotes the Chinese leader as hailing the results of the visit as “exceeding all expectations”. He called Russian President Vladimir Putin a good friend and stressed that Russian-Chinese friendship guarantees the safeguarding of global strategic balance and peace.
The visit of the Chinese guest was marked by an unprecedented event, the newspaper writes. Xi Jinping became the first foreign political leader visiting the Operational Control Centre of the Russian Armed Forces. The Chinese president, who also heads the Central Military Commission that controls the army, said cooperation with Russia keeps constantly growing. Our countries hold joint military exercises; cooperate in personnel training as well as in military technologies.
In an interview with the Nezavisimaya Gazeta, leading research scientist of the Institute for Far Eastern Studies of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Alexander Larin, marked that “Russia and China are concerned about U.S. plans to change the strategic balance in the world by speeding up work on the missile defense system both in the European direction and on the Pacific Ocean. This is reflected in a joint declaration,” he said. “China is also more toughly defending now its interests in territorial disputes with Japan, the Philippines and Vietnam. Nevertheless, it is difficult to imagine that military efforts of the People’s Republic of China and Russia would be aimed against third countries. There will be no military alliance between Russia and China – either formal or informal. Neither Moscow nor Beijing need this,” Larin said.
The Novye Izvestia daily notes that over 35 documents were signed on Friday afternoon after extesive talks in the presence of Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping. The memorandum on investments in infrastructure projects in the Far East was the first to be fixed. The Russian Direct Investment Fund and the Chinese Investment Corporation will deal with that jointly. Then Rosneft signed with Chinese partners an agreement on geological prospecting of petroleum products and supplies of crude oil, as well as inked a credit agreement with the State Development Bank of China.
At the present moment Russian oil deliveries to China amount to 15 million tons a year. This year another 800,000 tons will be supplied in addition to the contract in force. On the whole, the new agreement envisages a growth in supplies to 31 million tons. The head of Rosneft, Igor Sechin, did not rule out that this will necessitate “additional decisions on the development of pipelines”. These deliveries are fixed for the period of 25 years. For this, Moscow obtains a loan worth two billion dollars from the State Development Bank of China.