President Xi visits Russia to strengthen ties

World Today

President Xi visits Russia to strengthen ties

Chinese President Xi Jinping is traveling to Russia for a state visit.

He’s to meet President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin, and speak at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum.

CGTN’s Aljosa Milenkovic reports from Moscow.

Behind these famous red brick walls of the Kremlin, Russian and Chinese presidents will meet again on Wednesday.

It is their second meeting this year, and first in Russia. The two presidents met at the second Belt and Road Summit in Beijing earlier this year and discussed deepening cooperation in the BRI framework.

Now, it is time for talks to continue, as Russia’s role in the BRI is considered crucial by Chinese officials.

“The Belt and Road Initiative has added a driving force to the economic development in the two countries. While bilateral cooperation in traditional fields such as energy, nuclear power, aerospace and infrastructure have been consolidated, collaboration in high-tech, agricultural trade, e-commerce and finance is further pushing the two countries closer,” said Li Hui the Chinese Ambassador to Russia.

Experts said trade cooperation is a result of enhanced political relations. That’s why there have been a number of high-level trade deals between major companies from both sides.

But at the same time, there is a serious lack of mutual collaboration between small and medium enterprises.

“The total amount of Chinese investments in Russia from 1991 up to the present day is less than $30 billion. That is much, much less than for example Chinese investments in Western Europe or the United States,” said Professor Alexey Maslov the Head of the School of Asian Studies.

In order to change that, Russia is eager to attract all and not just high profile Chinese investments, such as the Great Wall car factory, or Belyy Rast railways cargo terminal.

Favorable political climate is seen as an excellent vehicle for achieving that.

That positive momentum created by the two presidents years ago resonates among Moscow residents today. Many here in Russia expect this visit to be the next step in expanding collaboration between the two countries.