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Russian President Vladimir Putin met with heads of some Russian regions and Chinese provinces in Xian.
The Russian leader arrived in Xian, the administrative center of Shanxi province, after the completion of his program in Beijing. He is to spend two days in this historic Chinese city. Vice Premier of the Chinese State Council Wu Yi and representatives of the Xinjiang Uygur, Ningxia Hui, Shanxi, Qinghai and Gansu provinces took part in the meeting in Xian. Vladimir Putin offered to involve a number of Russian regions, as well ass state and business structures in the development program of Chinese western provinces. "Cooperation within this 50-year strategic program will promote the development of economy, infrastructure and transport in this vast Eurasian region," the Russian President said. The nationwide program of large-scale development of China's western provinces covers 12 provinces, including Shanxi. Russian producers of machinery and equipment can participate in tenders on major projects, such as the construction of the world's highest-altitude Qinghai-Tibet railway and chains of hydroelectric power plants in Sichuan and Yunnan provinces and oil, gas and energy infrastructure projects in China's west, Vladimir Putin noted. Geological survey and transportation of ore, energy and hydrocarbon resources also can be among cooperation areas, he added. Russia boasts "rich experience, technologies and personnel for this work," he stressed. "I am sure that these possibilities could be important and useful for China," the head of state said. During the talks with the Chinese leadership we managed "to close the past" and achieve success in bilateral relations, Vladimir Putin continued. "I held productive talks with Chinese President Hu Jintao and other top officials in Beijing yesterday and today. I am convinced that together we succeeded in many spheres," Mr. Putin noted. "Above all, as Deng Xiaoping wisely said, we managed to close the past. I mean the final solution of difficult border problems," he emphasized. Moreover, Russia and China approved two serious documents, the political declaration and the plan on joint actions on the implementation on the Treaty on Good-neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation, the Russian leader said. In his words, these documents "outline the cooperation program for 2005-2008 and their purpose is the simplification of partnership and strategic interaction in political, trade and economic and humanitarian spheres, as well as closer cooperation." Vladimir Putin proposes changing the quality and structure of Russian-Chinese mutual trade. Russia and China have decided to triple bilateral trade turnover and to achieve even more serious results by 2010, he noted. Russian-Chinese trade assigns priority not only to growth rates, the President added. "We should change the quality and structure of mutual trade, first of all, to boost mutual investments, supplies of goods with high added value and of hi-tech products," Mr. Putin said. Moscow appreciates Beijing's decision to invest $12 billion in Russia's economy in the next 15 years, he stressed. The completion of bilateral talks on Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization opens new possibilities in Russian-Chinese economic cooperation, the Russian leader noted. "I am convinced that our countries' membership in the WTO will make bilateral business links more intensive, productive and useful," Vladimir Putin concluded.
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