Amid the protracted COVID-19 pandemic, difficult international situation and weak global economic recovery, bilateral trade between the two countries hit a record high of $190.27 billion last year, said the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China to Russia, Mr. Zhang Hanhui in a recent joint interview with Chinese media. Energy plays a key role in bilateral trade, while Chinese exports of mechanical and electrical products, automobiles and auto parts to Russia have increased significantly, the ambassador said.Zhang Hanhui drew attention to the fact that the share of settlements in local currencies continues to grow, while Russian banks are actively transacting in yuan.Noting that the subnational cooperation between the two countries is deepening, the Ambassador pointed out that institutions and enterprises of both sides have participated in the China International Import and Export Fair, China Import Fair. and Export Center, also known as the Canton Fair, the Eastern Economic Fair Forum and the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, realizing further synergy of cooperation demand and the full potential of this cooperation.According to the ambassador, the Heihe-Blagoveshchensk international road bridge, the Tongjiang-Nizhnyeleninskoye railway bridge and other border facilities have opened one after another, and the cross-border logistics and transportation channels have been developed.Sino-Russian trade to reach new heights in 2023Zhang Hanhui noted that after China streamlined its COVID-19 response, customs clearance at ports in the two countries has gradually returned to its pre-pandemic regime, ensuring smooth flow of goods and personnel. between the two parties. “During the first two months of 2023, bilateral trade maintained a high growth rate, reaching $33.69 billion, up 25.9% from last year, which is a good start. “, underlined the ambassador. and economic cooperation remains strong.”As two neighboring major powers, China and Russia have strong political trust in each other, great economic complementarity and great potential for cooperation, Zhang said, adding that more and more Russian companies showed a strong willingness to cooperate with their Chinese counterparts. “We believe Sino-Russian trade will reach new heights in 2023, and we will strive to meet the annual target of $200 billion set by the heads of the two states,” the ambassador said.Vasily Kashin, director of the HSE Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies in Moscow, believes that the diplomacy of heads of state helps the governments of both countries at all levels to overcome difficulties and move forward, deepening the cooperation in all areas. The expert notes that bilateral trade is growing despite the global economic slowdown in recent years and Chinese companies have become the dominant player in some sectors of the Russian market. “Take the automotive industry as an example. Chinese automakers have a bigger market share than ever before. You see more Chinese brands such as Haval, Chery, Dongfeng and others rolling down the streets of Moscow,” Kashin said.Ambassador Zhang Hanhui also noted that people-to-people cooperation has always played an important role throughout the history of the development of China-Russia relations.At the Beijing 2022 Winter Olympics, the two heads of state officially announced the years of sports exchanges between China and Russia and jointly called for opposing the politicization of sports, which is extremely important. , did he declare.As part of the Years of Sports Exchange, sports cooperation between the two countries has intensified. Chinese national teams in ice hockey, handball, snowboarding and other sports traveled to Russia to hold joint training programs, a group of high-level Russian coaches traveled to China, to Changchun, Jilin Province, the III Russian-Chinese Youth Winter Games were successfully held, the ambassador added.In the cultural sphere, the Chinese Ambassador’s Weiqi Cup and the Happy Chinese New Year Temple Fair organized by the Chinese Embassy were well received in Moscow, and the Russian Cultural Festival organized by the Russian in China has attracted great attention from the Chinese people. “After optimizing China’s response to COVID-19, the two countries are ready to hold various cultural exchange activities this year,” Zhang Hanhui said.According to him, this year the Chinese Culture Festival will be held in Russia, while the Chinese Ministry of Culture and Tourism will hold exhibitions in Russia and send creative teams to Russia for exchanges.He added that a number of sports exchange events will also take place this year as part of the sports exchange years.
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