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Economic ties serve as backbone for Sino-Russian relationship

China ranks among the top investors in the Russian economy

MOSCOW, February 3. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin will pay an official visit to China on February 4, 2022. The head of state will take part in the opening of 24th Winter Olympic Games in Beijing and meet Chinese President Xi Jinping. Both leaders are expected to discuss key areas of bilateral cooperation - development of trade and economic relations, including the energy sector, investments and space.

The backbone for Russian-Chinese trade and economic relations is the Treaty of Good Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation signed on July 16, 2011, which is characterized as the "comprehensive equal confident partnership and strategic interaction." Action plans for implementing this document are approved every four years.

Russian-Chinese trade turnover, according to Russian customs, contracted by 6.3% in annual terms to $104 bln in 2020, due to the coronavirus impact. China’s General Administration of Customs reported earlier that the bilateral trade turnover reached record-breaking $146 bln in 2021, while Russian customs data for the last year have not been released yet.

China ranks among the top investors in the Russian economy. China’s accumulated direct investments in Russia stood at $3.7 bln as of early 2020, according to Russian data. The Russia-China Investment Fund created by the Russian Direct Investment Fund and the China Investment Corporation has been operating since 2012 and by now has earmarked over $7 bln for 35 projects.

Russia exported about 400 mln tonnes of oil and over 55 mln tonnes of petroleum products to China over the last decade. In 2020, Russia ranked second after Saudi Arabia and delivered 83.57 mln tonnes to China or 15.4% of total oil imported by China in that year.

Gas transportation to China kicked off on December 2, 2019, with the launch of the Power of Siberia gas pipeline. According to the contract inked by Gazprom and CNPC in 2014, 38 bln cubic meters of gas will be supplied to China over 30 years.

The Western Europe-Western China transport corridor is the largest transportation project between the continents. The total length of the motorway is about 8,500 km, including 2,200 km over the territory of Russia, 2,800 km through Kazakhstan, and 3,500 km through China. Construction started in 2008 and is planned for completion in 2024. Freight transportation is expected to be 33 mln tonnes per year.

Mutual settlements in yuan and rubles started by the Bank of China in March 2003. The intergovernmental agreement on the transition to settlements in national currencies was made on June 5, 2019. The share of settlements in national currencies between the countries reached 25% in 2020.