World Economy

China-Russia Trade to Reach $100b in 2015

China-Russia Trade to Reach $100b in 2015China-Russia Trade to Reach $100b in 2015

Trade volume between Russia and China is expected to reach $100 billion in 2015, Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said at a press conference Sunday.

“We will do our best so that the bilateral trade reaches our goal of $100 billion, we will sign an agreement on cooperation in the area of the Silk Route’s Economic Belt,” Wang Yi said when responding to RIA Novosti’s question.

Wang Yi highlighted China’s readiness to sign an agreement on Russian gas supplies via the western route, and to start construction on the eastern route pipeline.

He also said that China is ready to cooperate with Russia in a wide range of issues, including in the area of high speed railways construction.

“We will develop and deepen our cooperation in the financial and banking areas, in the area of nuclear energy, oilfields,” Wang Yi said.

He added that relations between the two countries are not affected by global tensions, not aimed against third countries, and can be described as stable and trusting.

The two countries will accelerate the joint research and development on a long-distance, wide-body passenger jet.

China and Russia will continue to intensify their cooperation in the financial, oil and gas, as well as nuclear power sectors.

Diplomatic Heavyweight

China asserted its place on the global diplomatic stage, pledging to steadfastly support Russia in the face of western sanctions, scolding regional rival Japan, and making clear it sees the US as an equal, AFP reported.

Wang Yi staunchly defended China's national interests, while proclaiming that its rise is no threat to the international order.

He stressed that Beijing would not abandon old friends and allies such as Moscow, which is beleaguered under sanctions and international opprobrium, and Pyongyang, in recent years more often than not a headache for China's leaders rather than an asset.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is due to visit the US, the world's only superpower, later this year and Wang emphasized that the two countries are equals that must work to overcome tensions.

The two presidents were expected to "inject new momentum into efforts to build a new model of major country relations between China and the United States", Wang said, using Beijing's favored description of their ties, suggesting they are on the same footing.

"China and the United States are two large countries," he added. "It's impossible there not to be any disagreements between us."

Beijing and Moscow have regularly used their veto power on the UN Security Council to thwart western initiatives such as on Syria's civil war, and Wang said they would "continue to carry out strategic coordination and cooperation to maintain international peace and security".

China-US Trade

China and the United States have all but agreed the final text of a bilateral investment treaty that would expand trade between the world's two largest economies.

The sides are expected to exchange lists of sectors they will seek to exclude from the deal and that won't be open to foreign investment — the so-called negative lists — already before this year is out, China’s Commerce Minister Gao Hucheng announced Saturday.

The Bilateral Investment Treaty provides for a set of mutually-guaranteed rules of investment activity in each country. It would grant American companies better access to the Chinese market and equal rights with the local firms.

"The sides have all but agreed the text of the BIT agreement and will exchange negative lists already this year,” Gao Hucheng told a news briefing held on the sidelines of an annual session of the Chinese parliament.

He described the planned exchange as a “challenge for both countries,” underscoring the existing differences between the US and Chinese economies.

The minister also hoped that the agreement would have a significant impact on the global foreign investment rules.

Trade Surplus

China's monthly trade surplus hit a record $60.6b in February, as exports grew and imports slid back.

Exports were up 48.3% year on year to $169.2b, and imports dropped by a fifth to $108.6b, said the country's General Administration of Customs.

The growth in exports was well ahead of analyst expectations.