Putin's China visit to further enhance bilateral ties: Russian expert

MOSCOW, May 30 (www.qiewo.com) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin's upcoming visit to China will further enhance the strategic cooperation between the two countries, says a Russian diplomatic expert.

The early June trip carries a great deal of symbolic meaning, Eugeny Bazhanov, director of the Diplomatic Academy of the Russian Foreign Ministry, told Xinhua in a recent interview.

The tour will be one of Putin's first state visits abroad after returning to the Kremlin, which confirms the importance Russia attaches to its relations with China, Bazhanov explained.

He also recalled that the comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation between Russia and China started to develop more than 10 years ago during Putin's first presidential term.

Under the presidency of Dmitry Medvedev, the Russia-China relationship continued to thrive and involved highly active participation of Putin, he said.

During Putin's upcoming trip, which also includes a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Beijing, Russia's desire to continue the existing relations with China will be assured and the sides will deal with a wide range of issues on their further development, the expert said.

On the role of Russia-China cooperation in international issues, Bazhanov said it contributes to an effective response to external challenges in the volatile world.

It is remarkable that two such great powers and neighboring countries largely operate either on parallel courses or together, he said.

He stressed that there are a number of topics on which the two countries' interests coincide, which makes it possible to intensify cooperation.

For example, Russia and China share the same vision on the future world order. Russia and China stand for a multi-polar world. We reject that a country or a group of countries have hegemony and command all the others, he said.

Speaking about Russia-China trade and economic relations, Bazhanov recalled Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang's recent visit to Russia, which gave new impetus to bilateral cooperation.

In his February article Russia and the changing world, Putin called on Russia to strengthen economic cooperation with China so as to catch the 'Chinese wind' in our economic sails.

Echoing the president's words, Bazhanov said there is considerable potential for economic cooperation between the two countries.

For example, he said, Russia is interested in Chinese investment in the development of Siberia and the Far East, as well as in innovation processes, while China will benefit if its workforce and businesses participate in Russian economic projects.

According to the expert, there are good prospects for deepening economic relations between Russia and China thanks to the high level bilateral cooperation in all areas.