by Xinhua writer Zhong Ya
BEIJING, Sept. 16 (Xinhua) -- At a time when the China-Russia relationship is at an all-time high, Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's visit will further enhance strategic mutual trust and inject fresh vitality into practical cooperation between the two partners.
Li's visit, scheduled from Monday to Wednesday, comes as the two countries are celebrating the 70th anniversary of the establishment of their diplomatic ties, and have embarked on a new historic journey since Chinese President Xi Jinping's visit to Russia in June.
During Xi's visit, China and Russia agreed to lift their relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era, opening a new chapter of bilateral cooperation conducive to global stability and prosperity.
Under the strategic leadership of the two heads of state, Xi and his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, relations between Beijing and Moscow have seen closer cooperation and growing mutual support on a wide range of issues in the past several years.
Bilateral trade has maintained a steady growth momentum. In 2018, two-way trade surged 27.1 percent to hit a record of 107.1 billion U.S. dollars, the highest growth rate among China's top 10 trading partners. The two countries are working hard to double the trade volume by 2024.
Sub-national exchanges are blossoming. With 2018 and 2019 designated as the years of China-Russia local cooperation and exchanges, local regions of the two countries have carried out close economic and trade cooperation as well as people-to-people and cultural exchanges.
Meanwhile, the two sides are actively seeking greater synergy and cooperation between the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union to boost connectivity across the continent.
During his stay in St. Petersburg, Russia's second largest city, Li and Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will co-chair the 24th regular meeting between the two countries' heads of government, a key mechanism and platform to promote cooperation and facilitate communication.
They will exchange in-depth views on how to fully translate the consensus between Xi and Putin into win-win cooperation, and sign a series of agreements on trade, energy, technology and other areas, so as to demonstrate both countries' determination to strengthen their friendly and fruitful ties.
In the face of rising unilateralism, protectionism and anti-globalization, China and Russia, both responsible major countries, share a similar view on building a more open world economy, improving global governance and promoting democracy in international relations.
During Li's visit, the two sides are expected to jointly voice their support for multilateralism and global free trade. That will further enrich the close China-Russia partnership and give better play to its role as a model of cooperation between the world's major countries.
Standing at a new starting point, the two close neighbors will continue to play a constructive role in promoting world peace, stability and development.