International Desk: China wants to establish deep trade relations with Russia despite the criticism of Western countries. For this purpose, Beijing has called for increased cross-border connectivity and deep mutual trade and investment cooperation with Russia.
The two countries have also pledged closer economic ties despite Western disapproval after Russian forces invaded Ukraine last year. Reuters reported this information in a report on Wednesday (September 20).
Russia's economic development minister is currently visiting China and held "in-depth" discussions on economic cooperation with the Chinese commerce minister in Beijing on Tuesday, the report said.
The Russian minister's visit comes at a time when Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi is visiting Moscow to hold strategic talks with Russian authorities and prepare the stage for Russian President Vladimir Putin's visit to Beijing next month.
China's Commerce Minister Wang Wentao noted that China-Russia economic and trade cooperation has become deeper and more "firm" under the "strategic guidance" of the two heads of state in Tuesday's talks with the Russian minister, according to a statement from China's Ministry of Commerce.
Russia, under Western sanctions over its war with Ukraine, has turned to its close ally Beijing for economic support while also meeting Chinese demand for oil and gas as well as grain, Reuters said.
Chinese imports of Russian goods rose 3 percent to $11.5 billion in August this year from a year earlier, according to the latest Chinese customs data.
However, China has rejected Western criticism of Beijing's growing partnership with Moscow in light of Russia's war against Ukraine. Beijing insists that its relations with Russia do not violate international norms and that China has the right to develop cooperative relations with the country as it wishes.
The Russian Far East borders China as well as North Korea, and the region has gained new strategic importance as a hub for cross-border trade.
Last week, Russia's United Oil and Gas-Chemical Co. and China's Xuan Yuan Industrial Development agreed to build a transshipment oil complex near a rail bridge linking the Russian city of Nizhnyelenskoe with the Chinese city of Tongjiang.
In addition, Moscow authorities also hope to increase the export of marine products from the Russian Far East to China. Russia is looking to capitalize on this opportunity after Beijing banned seafood imports from Japan due to the release of radioactive water from the destroyed Fukushima plant into the sea, where nearly 70 percent of Russia's seafood is caught in the region.