ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, Sept. 19 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Premier Li Keqiang on Wednesday wrapped up a successful and fruitful visit to Russia, with the two neighbors reaffirming their commitment to closer cooperation and multilateralism.
During his three-day trip, Li co-chaired the 24th regular meeting between Chinese and Russian heads of government with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev in St. Petersburg. He also met with President Vladimir Putin in Moscow.
The two countries, standing at a new starting point after establishing diplomatic ties 70 years ago, agreed to cement strategic mutual trust and work together to raise practical cooperation to a higher level.
TO EXPAND TRADE TIES
Both China and Russia are strong advocates for a multipolar global system and a more open world economy. As economic globalization is facing headwind, the two countries pledged to grow trade ties by expanding opening-up to each other and scaling up cooperation in various fields such as energy, innovation and agriculture.
In a joint communique signed by Li and Medvedev, the two partners agreed to improve their trade structure, foster new growth areas and develop new types of trade including e-commerce and service trade.
They will create favorable conditions for closer bilateral cooperation in trade and investment and strengthen cooperation and coordination to better protect intellectual property, it said.
The two sides will also enhance cooperation within such multilateral frameworks as the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, BRICS and the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, so as to help the two countries develop in a more comprehensive and balanced way.
China has been Russia's top trading partner for nine years running, and is also Russia's largest source of imports and destination for exports. In the first eight months of this year, bilateral trade totalled 70.59 billion U.S. dollars, marking a 4.5-percent year-on-year growth.
During the regular meeting, Li said China stands ready to better align the Belt and Road Initiative with the Eurasian Economic Union, maintain the growing momentum of China-Russia trade and improve the level of trade and investment facilitation.
"China is further expanding opening up and the huge market potential will bring more opportunities to enterprises from all over the world including Russia," Li said when talking with Putin.
He expressed hope that the two countries can continue to open up to each other, broaden investment and market access and create more cooperation opportunities for enterprises from the two countries.
Both Putin and Medvedev said Russia is willing to continue to expand trade relations with China in a bid to seek common development.
TO PUSH FOR INNOVATION COOPERATION
While the two countries' cooperation in traditional spheres like energy is making new breakthroughs, their cooperation in new areas like cross-border e-commerce and sci-tech innovation is also gaining steam, Li noted.
China and Russia, with a common desire for national development, are making efforts to diversify and enrich their cooperation.
When meeting with the Russian prime minister, Li called on the two sides to harness their complementary advantages, and fully tap cooperation potential in such areas as basic research, applied research as well as the application of scientific and technological achievements in production.
As China and Russia have designated 2020 and 2021 as "Year of Scientific and Technological Innovation" in each other's countries, the two countries need to take this opportunity to upgrade their scientific and technological innovation cooperation, Li told reporters after the regular meeting.
Also, Medvedev expressed his willingness to reinforce cooperation with China in high-tech fields.
Russia stands ready to deepen strategic communication and practical cooperation with China, and expand cooperation in high-tech fields such as artificial intelligence and robotics, while developing cooperation in such traditional sectors as energy, said the Russian prime minister.
According to the communique, China and Russia will jointly work to increase compatibility and interoperability of their global satellite navigation systems -- China's BeiDou and Russia's GLONASS -- to better serve the two countries' socio-economic development with higher quality.
They also agreed to push for closer cooperation in such fields as aviation, aerospace, telecommunication, pharmacy as well as chemical engineering.
TO FORGE STRONGER RELATIONS
Li's official visit came when the two neighbors are celebrating the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties. Relations between China and Russia, two major countries in the world, bear great significance for stability and development of the globe.
During their talks, the leaders of both countries highlighted the comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era. China-Russia relations have been upgraded to a higher level since Chinese President Xi Jinping paid a state visit in June, in which he and Putin jointly drew a brighter blueprint for the future of China-Russia ties.
The sound and stable development of bilateral relations is in the interests of both sides and also conducive to human progress under current circumstances, Li told reporters.
"We need to firmly uphold the UN-centered international system anchored by international law, and jointly build a new type of international relations and a community with a shared future for mankind to safeguard world peace, stability, fairness and justice," Li said in a written interview with Russian News Agency TASS ahead of the visit.
Upon his arrival, Li pledged China's willingness to step up coordination and cooperation with Russia on global affairs, and work together to improve global governance, forge an open world economy, and safeguard regional and world peace, development and prosperity.