China Awaits Putin Visit, Expects Boost to Relations

Posted October 10th, 2011 at 2:55 am (UTC-5)
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Chinese state media say a visit to Beijing this week by Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin is expected to raise cooperation between the two countries to a new high.

Mr. Putin arrives in the Chinese capital Tuesday on his first foreign trip since his recent announcement that he will seek a third presidential term in elections next year. He will be accompanied by 160 people including top Russian businessmen.

China Daily, the flagship newspaper of China’s ruling Communist Party, noted that Mr. Putin recently said Russian-Chinese relations were at perhaps their highest point in history. The paper said Mr. Putin could use the visit to lay out his foreign policy priorities for years to come.

Economic issues are expected to dominate the talks. Russia is the world’s largest energy producer and China is the largest energy consumer.

China has become Russia’s biggest trading partner, with two-way trade expected to reach $70 billion this year. The countries have set a goal of boosting trade to $100 billion by 2015 and $200 billion by 2020.