Chinese Premier Li Keqiang has said on a visit to Moscow last week that China is ready to step up efforts to link the China-initiated Belt and Road Initiative with the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) when meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin. The alignment, Li said, can boost bilateral cooperation in traditional and emerging areas to expand cross-border trade and further develop Russia’s Far East.
China and Russia are making progress in new areas such as the digital economy, technological innovation, and small and medium-sized enterprises while promoting cooperation in traditional areas such as energy, transportation, production capacity equipment, and agriculture, Li said.
The premier said China would like to strengthen coordination with Russia in international affairs and maintain close exchanges under multilateral mechanisms. This includes the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which will help regional cooperation and inject constructive ideas to global peace and development.
The four other members of the Eurasian Economic Union are Belarus, Kazakhstan, Armenia, and Kyrgyzstan. The economic union has a population of 183 million people and a gross domestic product of more than US$4 trillion. China is close to agreeing a Free Trade Agreement with the EAEU.
The One Belt One Road Initiative, proposed by Xi in 2013, aims to build infrastructure and a vast network for trade throughout Asia, Europe, and Africa along the routes of the ancient Silk Road. Meanwhile, China-Russian bilateral trade is steadily increasing and cooperation in areas such as energy, transportation infrastructure, and agriculture is being advanced, Putin said.
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