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China`s Xi to visit Russia, to ink defence-energy deals

Last Updated: Thursday, March 21, 2013 - 23:57

Beijing: Chinese President Xi Jinping will embark on a visit to Russia on Friday, his first trip abroad after assuming charge, amidst expectation here of a major boost in bilateral defence ties, including Moscow`s sale of its latest weapons to cash-rich Chinese military.

Billed as the most significant visit by a Chinese leader to Moscow after the 1961 break of ties between the erstwhile Soviet Union and Communist Party of China headed by Mao Zedong.

"The fact that I will visit Russia, our friendly neighbour, shortly after assuming Presidency is a testimony to the great importance China places on its relations with Russia and to the high level and special nature of the comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination between the two countries," Xi told Editors of the BRICS nations here this week.

Highlighting the importance of the new emerging relationship aimed at counter US Pivot to Asia-Pacific, 59-year-old Xi said relations are "booming" as the two countries have completely settled the boundary issue in 2004 placing their political ties on a solid foundation.

Two-way trade between China and Russia surged by 14 times in 20 years and reached a record USD 88.2 billion last year.

Cooperation on major strategic projects in energy, investment, aviation and space and other fields is booming, and cultural and people-to-people exchanges are dynamic, Xi said.

PTI

First Published: Thursday, March 21, 2013 - 17:06
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