Source: China Daily Published: 2018-12-21
Russian leader pushes economic growth at annual press conference
Russia highly values the rapid development of China since the start of the reform and opening-up policy, and emphasized deeper cooperation between the two countries, President Vladimir Putin said at his annual end-of-year news conference in Moscow on Thursday.
Putin values China's rapid development
The appearance was shown live on several TV stations, with some channels trailing the event with a day-long countdown clock.
Putin hailed the close relations between Russia and China during the news conference, which has become a traditional event since 2001, except the four years when he was the prime minister.
He said tremendous progress on politics, the economy and society has been made by China in the past 40 years.
China held a high-profile meeting on Tuesday to mark the 40th anniversary of the country's reform and opening-up, and Chinese President Xi Jinping gave a keynote speech to provide a nod toward four decades years of incredible achievements and to offer policy continuity in the pursuit of future reform.
Putin said the comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination between Russia and China has led bilateral cooperation into various fields.
"The bilateral trade volume has reached $100 billion, which is a great milestone and achievement for both countries," Putin said.
He said he wants to see his country's economy in the world's top five.
Russia is currently ranked 12th in the world pecking order by the International Monetary Fund, with economic output worth some $1.5 trillion. The IMF list is led by the United States followed by China, Japan, Germany and with the United Kingdom in fifth place.
Russia needs a "breakthrough, we need a leap in terms of technological innovation; without that, our country has no future," Putin said.
Bilateral trade volume
Figures from the General Administration of Customs of China said that in the first 11 months this year, the bilateral trade volume between China and Russia reached $97.24 billion and sees growth of 27.8 percent year-on-year.
Of which, China's export to Russia was $43.45 billion, which is 12 percent more than that of the same period of the previous year, while China has imported goods from Russia worth $53.78 billion, which sees an increase of 44.3 percent year-on-year.
Bilateral trade still has big potential, said Li Yonghui, a senior researcher of Russian foreign policy at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Li said that she is very positive about tremendous achievements that will be brought by the alignment of Eurasian Economic Union, a Russia initiative, and the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative.
In November, China and Russia worked out a plan which focused on several key areas in the economic and trade cooperation of both countries, including natural gas and petrochemical industry, minerals, transportation and logistics, agriculture, and tourism.
"It means the alignment is becoming more specific and both countries have found the fitting points, " she said.
"If we could carry out all the projects and deepen cooperation in these areas, the bilateral trade will definitely grow greatly."
Wang Peng, an associate research fellow of the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies of Renmin University of China, said China and Russia have great potential for cooperation that is awaiting exploration, especially under the BRI, which was proposed by Xi in 2013.
The alignment of Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union and BRI is a win-win cooperation that also benefits regional economic development. But apart from making plans, both sides should also strengthen the carrying out of specific projects in a wide range of sectors, including trade and finance, and bring real benefit to people in both countries.
Wang Peng is an associate research fellow at the Chongyang Institute for Financial Studies of Renmin University of China.