President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping have signed a joint statement on a new stage of comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation between the two countries. According to the document, cooperation in a wide range of fields, including finance, trade, engrgy and transportation will be expanded.
Putin is in China for the 4th summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA), which includes delegates from nearly 40 countries and international organizations.
In an interview with Chinese media before his arrival, Mr Putin called China “Russia’s reliable friend” and said the two countries had reached a new stage in bilateral and military ties. “It would be no exaggeration if I said that the co-operation between our two countries is at its highest level in history,” the Russian leader said, according to BBC, who cites Sohu.
According to the joint statement, the two countries will strengthen cooperation in major projects in the peaceful use of nuclear energy, civil aviation, research on aerospace technologies, satellite navigation and manned space flights. They will speed up the construction of cross-border transportation infrastructure, including bridges on cross-border river, and Russia will facilitate China’s goods shipment using its railway networks, ports and the Northern Sea Route.
The Northern Sea Route Administration has so far received 90 applications on use of the route this season. None of the registered vessels are carrying Chinese flag.
In 2013, no Chinese vessels sailed the Northern Sea Route. Five of the vessels sailing the route last year had ports in China as port of destination or port of departure, according to the Northern Sea Route Information Office.
The first ever Chinese vessel to sail the Northern Sea Route was the icebreaker “Xue Long” (Snow Dragon). In 2012 the vessel sailed all along the Northern Sea Route into the Barents Sea and upon return sailing a straight line from Iceland to the Bering Strait via the North Pole.