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China’s Li Keqiang calls for closer cooperation between Chinese, Russian regions

He stressed the necessity to encourage cooperation between China’s northeastern provinces and Russia’s Far East

BEIJING, November 6. /TASS/. Russia and China need closer cooperation not only at the intergovernmental but also at the interregional level, China’s Premier of the State Council Li Keqiang said in an interview with TASS First Director General Mikhail Gusman.

He stressed the necessity to encourage cooperation between China’s northeastern provinces and Russia’s Far East. "It is important to expand cooperation not only at the governmental level but also at the regional level, including cooperation between China’s northeast and Russia’s Far East region," Li Keqiang said.

In this context, the Chinese head of government touched upon issues of trade and economic cooperation between the two states which is to be comprehensively developed. "It is necessary to take measures to restore and expand bilateral trade and at the same time encourage mutual investments and production cooperation," he said. "In this context, we welcome investments of strong enterprises to Russia. It is important to establish the guiding role of major strategic projects and, on the other hand, it is likewise important to support active participation of small-and medium-sized companies."

Li Keqiang is paying an official visit to Russia at the invitation of Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev. The two prime ministers will have talks on November 7 in Russia’s second largest city of St. Petersburg. Talks will begin in a narrow format to be further joined by the delegations. The Russian side will be represented by deputy prime ministers, a number of ministers, and representatives of big businesses, including CEOs of Russian Railways Co. (RZD), Rosneft oil major, Gazprom gas giant, and state nuclear corporation Rosatom.

The talks are expected to yield a number of joint documents. The two prime ministers will give a news conference after the talks. Apart from that, Medvedev and Li Keqiang will take part in the ceremony of summing up the results of the joint project Ten Masterpieces of Chinese Literature in Russia and Ten Masterpieces of Russian Literature in China. The project was initiated by Russia’s news agency TASS and China’s newspaper Guangming Ribao as part of the Year of the Russian and Chinese Mass Media (2016-2017).

The previous meeting between Medvedev and Li Keqiang took place at the East Asia Summit in Laos on September 8.