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Meeting with President of China Xi Jinping

May 14, 2017, Beijing

Vladimir Putin held talks with President of China Xi Jinping. The talks covered, in particular, the prospects of economic cooperation between Russia and China, and topical international issues.

The Russian President congratulated his Chinese counterpart on the successful opening of the Belt and Road international forum and pointed out that the event is well-timed. Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping also discussed the Chinese President’s upcoming visit to Russia.

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President of China Xi Jinping (retranslated): I am very glad that you and I have held our first meeting this year. Once again, I cordially welcome you to the Belt and Road international cooperation forum.

As a Russian proverb goes, ”One swallow doesn't make a summer.“ We say, ”One tree is not a forest yet.“ Three years ago, I came out with the Belts and Roads initiative. All leaders of participating countries actively supported this idea and responded. Leveraging joint efforts, this cooperation, including efforts to link Belts and Roads with the 21st century Maritime Silk Road, has achieved initial success.

Our circle of friends is expanding – our common cause brings benefit to the peoples of all countries. Your participation in the forum and your speech at the opening ceremony gives a powerful signal about China and Russia's intention to jointly promote the creation of an open global economy and boost regional cooperation between countries. This has played an important role in holding the forum at a high level. The Chinese side highly appreciates this.

China and Russia are kind neighbours, good friends and stable partners. Since the beginning of the year, the China-Russia relations and cooperation have continued to develop at a high level, with a number of new results achieved.

During the first quarter, mutual trade stood at $18.1 billion, up 2.9–3 percent, which shows a powerful revival tendency.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the Chinese-Russian peace and friendship and 60th anniversary of the Society for Chinese-Soviet Friendship. The sides are in the process of developing and implementing plans for holding various festive events.

We are successfully continuing the events marking the Year of Chinese Mass Media in Russia. This has allowed us to strengthen mutual understanding between our nations and has provided a strong public basis of China-Russia relations and a strategic partnership amid the difficult and ever-changing situation in the world. China and Russia have expressed responsibility as great powers.

The joint efforts in settling the political situation in Syria and the nuclear crisis on the Korean Peninsula has played a stabilising role in providing peace and stability in the region and the world.

Developing and expanding our relations is our strategic choice. Whatever the international situation is, we must be strong and go forward shoulder to shoulder, steadily considering the development of our relations as a foreign policy priority. We must make every effort to properly advance our relations and achieve greater results in our cooperation.

Thank you for your attention.

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr President, friends,

First of all, congratulations on the successful opening of the large international forum held at your initiative.

As I said in my address today, the timing for this forum is quite good considering the ongoing complicated developments in the world in general and in global economy in particular.

More than ever, we need new cooperation mechanisms in order to open doors to each other, eliminate barriers and obstacles in our cooperation – primarily, in the economy.

In my opinion, the main issue on our bilateral agenda is your upcoming visit to the Russian Federation and we very much look forward to it.

Our governments, the Russian Presidential Executive Office and the Secretariat of the Communist Party of China Central Committee, are currently drafting quite a set of documents, including an action plan toward fulfilling our strategic initiatives for the next few years.

A schedule of contacts has been developed at the level of the governments, ministries, agencies and parliaments of our countries. We are satisfied with the course of our relationship in all these directions.

As concerns the economy, which never leaves our attention, over the last year we have managed to overcome certain negative trends and have achieved a four-percent increase in trade turnover. During the first few months of this year, between January and March, the growth rate was already 37 percent.

What is particularly important and pleasing is that trade patterns are changing structurally. The share of machine engineering and agricultural products is growing for both countries.

However, there is still much room for improvement. Particularly, when it comes to complicated international issues where we always stand side by side and support each other in overcoming various problems. This is certainly a very important factor in international affairs, one that serves to stabilise the political situation.

Let me thank you once again for arranging this event. I am both hopeful and confident that this forum will be held at the highest level.

Thank you.


May 14, 2017, Beijing