ST.PETERSBURG, June 23, 2016 (Xinhua) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) is interviewed by President of Xinhua News Agency Cai Mingzhao in St.Petersburg of Russia, June 17, 2016. Russian President Vladimir Putin, in an hour-long exclusive interview with Xinhua President Cai Mingzhao ahead of his upcoming visit to China, elaborated his views on bilateral ties, China-Russia trade, the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), and international cooperation, among other issues. (Xinhua/Bai Xueqi)
by Xinhua Writer Zhu Junqing
BEIJING, June 25 (Xinhua) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin is paying a state visit to China on Saturday, two days after he met with Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of a Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) summit in Tashkent.
Last year, the two presidents met five times. Such frequent interactions between the top leaders underpin a major-country relationship that is mature and runs at a high level.
As Putin said in an hour-long exclusive interview with Xinhua President Cai Mingzhao on June 17 in St. Petersburg, trust between Russia and China has reached an unprecedented level and laid a solid foundation for bilateral cooperation.
The two countries are each other's major trading partners, their people-to-people exchanges are strong and their coordination on international issues is close.
Against the backdrop of a difficult global economy, their relations were negatively affected in some areas, such as a decline in trade value between the two countries. But as Putin said, this is only "a temporary downtick" resulting from the current market prices of certain commodities and differences in exchange rates.
What deserves more attention is that the two sides are optimizing bilateral trade through substantial measures and cooperating in energy and high-tech innovation.
Moreover, China's Belt and Road Initiative, highlighting transportation infrastructure, easier trade and investment, financial cooperation and cultural exchanges, will help offset the downslide in trade and bring about win-win results.
Take the famous Moscow-Kazan high-speed railway line as an example. With a maximum design speed of 400 km per hour, it will carry thousands of passengers every year and reduce travel time from 14 hours to three and a half. It is not surprising that Putin said the project may be only the beginning of China-Russia cooperation in infrastructure.
The two leaders have agreed to pair the Belt and Road Initiative with the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU), which gained wide support from other EEU members and will undoubtedly benefit neighboring countries.
It is predictable that within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative, Chinese-Russian practical cooperation will further develop, guaranteeing bilateral ties run high for the years to come.