Chinese President Xi attends International Economic Forum in Russia as guest of honor

World Today

It’s day three of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Russia. He’s in Saint Petersburg for the International Economic Forum. Xi is the guest of honor at the annual event, and is just hours away from speaking at a Friday plenary session. CGTN’s Aljosa Milenkovic reports.

By air, train and car some 17,000 people have come to arguably the most beautiful city in Russia Saint Petersburg. They’re here to attend the 23rd Saint Petersburg International Economic Forum. Chinese President Xi Jinping is among them.

But before attending the event, he visited Saint Petersburg University, together with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The reason – to receive the title of honorary doctorate at the same University where Putin graduated decades ago.

“The Saint Petersburg University is especially known for its strong teaching force in Chinese language. Since the establishment of its Oriental studies department 160 years ago, it has cultivated a large number of Sinologists who are proficient in Chinese language and culture,” said Xi Jinping. “Education cooperation is an important way to enhance people’s friendship. The cooperation between our two sides maintains a strong momentum, and has led to good results.”

Meanwhile, at the Saint Petersburg Forum, Russia’s former deputy prime minister Igor Sechin addressed the group.

He’s now the head of Russia’s largest state-owned oil company.

He cited progress in China – Russian relations and acknowledged the ongoing trade wars and threats from U.S. President Donald Trump.

“The main reason for that kind of conduct is weakness of our other partners and his attempts to gain certain advantages at the expense of diminishing competition. I’ll remind you that back in 2000, U.S. purchasing power was three times higher than China’s,” Roseneft CEO Igor Sechin said. “Now China has overcome that. Many Chinese companies are now world leaders in their areas.”

With trade tensions on the rise between the EU and the U.S., Russia and China have stepped up their economic and defense ties.

Bilateral trade between the two countries set a record last year exceeding 100 billion U.S. dollars

On the last day of his official state visit to Russia, President Xi will give a speech on sustainable development.

Professor Vladimir Golstein discusses China-Russia relations

CGTN’s Elaine Reyes interviewed Vladimir Golstein, a professor of Slavic Studies at Brown University on China-Russia relations.