Excerpts from the transcript:
Mikhail Mishustin: Mr Li Keqiang, colleagues,
At the beginning of our meeting, I would like to convey greetings and best wishes from President of Russia Vladimir Putin. Before we discuss the agenda, I would like to offer my deepest condolences over the death of former General Secretary of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of China and PRC President Jiang Zemin. This is a great loss for the entire friendly nation of China.
Jiang Zemin made a substantial contribution to strengthening Russian-Chinese relations. In July 2001, President of Russia Vladimir Putin and Jiang Zemin signed the fundamental Treaty on Good-Neighbourliness and Friendly Cooperation between our countries. We will always remember Jiang Zemin as an outstanding statesman and as a great and sincere friend of Russia. I would also like to congratulate you and all Chinese citizens on holding the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of China.
We are convinced that, under the leadership of President Xi Jinping, a friendly China will continue to successfully accomplish the tasks of modernisation, socioeconomic development and those aiming to improve people’s well-being. Today, we are holding the 27th regular meeting of Russian and Chinese heads of government. This format has been functioning for almost 30 years and helps us effectively discuss the most important issues of our interaction.
Russian-Chinese relations amount to a comprehensive and strategic partnership. We are moving confidently and steadily in all directions, even in conditions of global economic crises.
As President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin noted, Russia needs a prosperous China. In turn, China needs a successful Russia.
Our countries have coinciding approaches to many problems of our time. Together we stand for the formation of a multipolar architecture of international relations. And we are ready to jointly confront emerging challenges and growing external pressure.
This is due to trusting contacts at the highest level. This year, the heads of our states – President of Russia Vladimir Putin and President of China Xi Jinping –
held two in-person meetings, during which they set goals to further strengthen practical cooperation and improve its level and quality. Our governments must ensure the effective implementation of these agreements.
We have achieved good results in the economy, primarily in mutual trade. Despite the unfavourable external environment, Russian-Chinese trade shows double-digit growth rates. Over the first 10 months of this year, it has increased by almost a third to nearly $150 billion. This is already higher than the figures for all of last year. We will eventually reach $200 billion or more, as our leaders agreed.
It is important that now almost half of our trade is carried out in national currencies. The transition to this, as President of Russia Vladimir Putin emphasised, will continue to gain momentum. These types of transactions should dominate. Such is the logic of a sovereign economic and financial policy of a multipolar world. Russia and China are gradually implementing all the approved cooperation programmes.
Our energy partnership has acquired a strategic character. Exports of natural gas, oil and coal are increasing. In China, the construction of nuclear power plants with Russian participation continues. We are ready to ensure the fulfillment of all our existing contractual obligations and work on new ambitious initiatives in this area.
Our investment cooperation is developing positively. The portfolio of the Intergovernmental Russian-Chinese Commission includes 79 significant and promising projects. The estimated value of the investments exceeds $160 billion, primarily in the field of mineral extraction and processing, industrial production, infrastructure construction and agriculture.
We are also making headway in other key directions. In today’s conditions, additional opportunities are opening up for strengthening this cooperation, including for establishing Russian production facilities with the participation of Chinese companies. The Government will facilitate this process in every way.
We see great potential in the high-tech sectors, including digitalisation and space exploration. An intergovernmental agreement on establishing an International Lunar Research Station is ready to be signed. This is a big step forward for our countries.
We prioritise efforts to strengthen scientific, technological and innovation cooperation. We have successfully held themed national exchange years, including about a thousand related events. Our specialists are making a major contribution to fundamental research, including under the Nuclotron-Based Ion Collider Facility (NICA) project at the Joint Institute for Nuclear Research in Dubna. We are ready to implement new initiatives together.
The steady operation of transport arteries has great significance for increasing trade and economic ties, though the influence of pandemic-related restrictions is still making itself felt here.
We must continue our joint efforts to resume freight volumes and create new logistic chains. The opening of two trans-border bridges, the highway bridge and the railway bridge across the Amur River earlier this year, has great significance. These large projects will help expand exports and imports, and this has special significance in the context of the complicated global economic situation.
I would like to mention cultural and humanitarian ties separately. They will form the social base for our relations in the upcoming decades and strengthen our traditions of friendship, neighbourliness and mutual respect.
Unfortunately, the coronavirus pandemic led to restrictions in tourism. Cultural and youth events take place predominantly online, which of course cannot replace face-to-face contact. I propose that we work together to develop alternatives for the gradual resumption of humanitarian exchanges.
All the more so because, by decision of the Russian and Chinese leaders, this and next year have been declared Years of Cooperation in Physical Education and Sport. Today, at a time of unjustified attempts to politicise the sports movement, holding open competitions in the spirit of friendship and mutual understanding takes on special significance. Our athletes should have the opportunity to demonstrate their abilities in a fair competition, without politics or bias.
We seek to expand education exchanges, taking into account the growing interest of young people in the study of the Russian and Chinese languages. We are grateful to China for its attentive attitude towards returning Russian students to full-time study at Chinese universities.
And, of course, we welcome the strengthening of youth contacts, including the participation of the Chinese side in the We Are Together international prize. It was established in Russia to recognise people who make a significant contribution to the development of volunteering, implementing socially important projects and providing free assistance to those in need. Such generous work is highly respected in Russia and China.
The global world order is undergoing serious transformation. Some Western states have decided that by using illegitimate economic sanctions, restrictions and political pressure, it is possible to impose their own rules without taking into account the interests of others. These attempts are doomed to failure.
We are convinced that in the new geopolitical realities, the Russian-Chinese comprehensive and strategic partnership will reveal its great creative potential even more fully.
Mr Li Keqiang, colleagues!
We have a substantive agenda today. I hope for a productive and open dialogue on a range of practical cooperation issues. Together, we will make the most effective decisions on how to promote our multifaceted collaboration for the socio-economic development of Russia and China for the benefit of our countries and our citizens.