Wen Jiabao, Putin Co-chair the 16th Regular Meeting between Chinese and Russian Prime Ministers

On October 11, 2011, Premier Wen Jiabao and visiting Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin held small-range talks and co-chaired the 16th regular meeting between the two countries’ prime ministers at the Great Hall of the People. The two prime ministers had a candid, in-depth exchange of views on bilateral relations and the regional and international situation, listened to the work report of the three cooperative mechanisms including the Sino-Russian Prime Ministers’ regular meeting committee, Sino-Russian energy negotiation and China-Russia cultural cooperation committee, and made deployment and guidance for bilateral cooperation in the next stage.

Wen said this year is the 10th anniversary of the signing of the Sino-Russian Good-Neighborly Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation and the 15th anniversary of the Sino-Russian strategic cooperative partnership. History has proved that a comprehensive, sustainable development of China-Russia relations provided a powerful impetus for revitalizing the two countries, maintaining world peace and stability and promoting the establishment of a just and rational new international order. Facing the new situation, new opportunities and new challenges, the Chinese government is willing to work with the Russian government to adhere to the right direction of equality and mutual trust, mutual support, common prosperity and friendship from generation to generation and carry out a higher level of cooperation and coordination at the bilateral, regional and international levels to safeguard common interests and promote new progress of bilateral relations.

Wen said over the past year, the subcommittees of Chinese and Russian prime ministers’ meeting mechanism have played their coordinating role and actively implemented the consensus reached at the fifteenth prime ministers’ meeting. On this basis, the two sides should take more effective measures, develop innovative ways of cooperation, expand cooperation areas, settle major issues through consultation and strive to create a win-win situation based on the strategic planning on the development of bilateral relations for the next 10 years. Wen raised a six-point proposal to reinforce Sino-Russian ties. First, he called on the two countries to improve their trade structure and environment and enhance trade quality. China and Russia have set a goal to boost bilateral trade to 100 billion U.S. dollars by 2015 and 200 billion U.S. dollars by 2020, Wen said, stating that both sides should make unremitting efforts to this end. He urged both sides to step up policy and fund support for promoting two-way investment and encourage the expansion of trade scale. Second, Wen said both countries should further their cooperation in the oil, natural gas, nuclear energy, coal, electric power, water conservancy and environmental protection sectors. “The two sides should implement the major projects they have agreed on while accommodating each other’s concerns from a strategic viewpoint and a long-term perspective,” Wen said. Third, China and Russia should also make breakthroughs in high-tech cooperation, Wen said, stating that both sides should concentrate their efforts to bolster joint research, development and innovation. Fourth, Wen called for better infrastructure construction and the implementation and improvement of an outline for regional cooperation between northeast China, east Russia and east Siberia, which was approved in 2009. Both sides should enhance communication and coordination and promote common development and prosperity in border areas. Fifth, Wen proposed mapping out a plan of action for Sino-Russian cultural and people-to-people cooperation and promoting the institutionalization of bilateral youth exchanges. He urged both sides to strengthen education and training cooperation and take the holding of Tourism Year in each other’s countries as an opportunity to enhance humanities exchanges between the two countries to a new level. Sixth, Wen said he hopes for closer bilateral cooperation within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) to jointly push forward the development of the organization.

Putin agreed with Wen’s positive evaluation of the work of the prime ministers’ regular meeting mechanism as well as his important views on further development of bilateral relations. He said with the joint efforts of both sides, Russia-China relations have enjoyed the continuous development and bilateral cooperation in all areas has reached an unprecedented height, which has safeguarded the common interests, benefited both peoples and played an important role in promoting world peace, stability and prosperity. Russia attaches great importance to relations with China and holds that cooperation between the two countries enjoys broad prospects and is of great significance. Russia is ready to work with China to strengthen strategic communication and coordination, give full play to the role of bilateral mechanisms and the two countries’ respective advantages and advance exchanges and cooperation in the fields of trade, energy, science and technology, agriculture, environmental protection and humanities in an active and pragmatic manner. Both sides should also expand cooperation scale and improve the level of cooperation so as to achieve mutual benefit and common development and promote China-Russia strategic cooperative partnership to a new level.

The two leaders signed a joint communiqué on the 16th regular meeting between the two countries’ prime ministers. The two also witnessed the signing of bilateral cooperation documents and met the press. Before the talks, Wen hosted a welcome ceremony for Putin.

Chinese Vice Premier and chairman of the Chinese side of China-Russia Prime Ministers’ Regular Meeting Committee Wang Qishan, State Councilor and chair of the Chinese side of the Committee on China-Russia Cultural Cooperation Liu Yandong, as well as Russian Deputy Prime Ministers Zhukov and Sechin attended the above activities.