09/27/2010, 00.00
CHINA – RUSSIA
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Medvedev in China, energy and economic co-operation at the top of the agenda

The Russian president is in Beijing. In an interview with the People’s Daily, he says the two nations face a common challenge and must work together. A new oil pipeline between China and Russia is ready for launching.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Russian President Dmitri Medvedev arrived in Beijing today where he will meet with Chinese leaders to discuss cooperation in energy and economic fields between his country and the world’s second biggest economy. At present, energy constitutes the basis of their relationship, but Moscow wants to attract Chinese investments and get Beijing’s support for the modernisation of Russia’s economy.

In a long interview with the People’s Daily before his three-day visit, Medvedev said that Russia and China must work together more closely because they face a common challenge. “Today, Russia and China are largely solving similar tasks as they move along the path of comprehensive modernisation,” he said. “Never before have our ties been characterised by such a high level of mutual trust,” he added.

Trade between Russia and China topped US$ 25.5 billion in the first six months of the year. Energy will be high on the agenda for Medvedev when he meets Chinese President Hu Jintao and Prime Minister Wen Jiabao.

Russia's Gazprom, the world's largest gas producer, has been in talks with China over gas deliveries for several years, but the two sides have yet to sort out a final pricing mechanism.

Medvedev and Hu are also scheduled to launch a pipeline that will carry Russian oil to China, the world's largest energy consumer. This will enable Moscow to diversify its exports away from Europe.

The Russian president flew to Beijing from the northeastern Chinese city of Dalian, where he paid respects to Soviet-era soldiers who died defending the port from Japanese invaders.

He will wrap up his trip on Tuesday with a visit to the World Expo in Shanghai.

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