Putin heads to China for weekend talks with President Xi


Russian President Vladimir Putin is heading to China this weekend to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping. The Chinese and Russian leaders, who make a point of visiting each other regularly, have a lot of topics on their agenda.

Those topics include joint anti-terrorism efforts and cooperation on other global security challenges, as well as boosting bilateral trade and economic interaction.

CCTV’s Daria Bondarchuk takes a look at what Russia hopes to get from this visit.

A strategic collaboration — that’s how the Kremlin’s described its relationship with China, as Putin heads to Beijing for talks with Jinping. The Russian leader said their strong ties “contribute to the stability of world affairs.”

But as well as geopolitics, over 30 economic agreements are on the agenda, both governmental and corporate, focusing on financial, industrial and agricultural cooperation.

One of these major projects, a high-speed railway set to link Moscow and Kazan.

“China Development Bank is expected to provide a credit loan of about $6 billion, and it’s expected that 80 percent of the road will be build by Chinese companies which Chinese equipment maybe even Chinese labor,” Alexander Gabuyev, chair of Russia in the Asia-Pacific Program said. “But China will provide financing for the deal.”

Also on the cards, a liquefied natural gas plant, for which Moscow also hopes it will get funding from Beijing.

“The Russian private LNG plant which is build on the Yamal Peninsula which is being built in the Artic Sea will get the first money from China Development Bank and ExIm Bank as a long term financing to complete the project,” Gabuyev said.

Another significant project could be a large grain terminal in the Russia’s Trans-Baikal region to help increase supplies of wheat to China.

While political relations are robust, experts note there’s still room for improvement in the two countries’ practical economic cooperation and direct business-to-business trading.

“Russian businessmen and officials have at times a desire to act fast and get results quickly,” Margarita Fedotova, first vice president of the Russia-Asia Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, said. “They want things done now, to show results. ‘Here’s what we have, let’s do business.’ they say. The Chinese businesses are not ready to jump into action that way. It takes building up a personal relation with the partner, gaining trust – no long-term cooperation is possible without that.”

But it’s not just business. Jinping and Putin will also discuss cooperation between Beijing and Moscow within the United Nations, BRICS, and the G20.

Putin will be hoping to return here to the Kremlin with plenty of trade agreements between Moscow and Beijing. That’s important economically, of course, as Russia continues to face sanctions from Europe. But politically, it also aims to send a message to the Kremlin’s opponents that Russia isn’t as internationally isolated as they might like to think.