China and Russia on Friday pledged closer cooperation on natural gas, petroleum, nuclear energy and coal ahead of Russian President Vladimir Putin’s upcoming Beijing visit.
Energy cooperation is an important part of the comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation between China and Russia, Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan said at the eighth round of the China-Russia energy negotiators’ meeting, co-chaired by Wang and his Russian counterpart, Arkady Dvorkovich.
Friday’s talks focused on expanding cooperation on natural gas, petroleum, nuclear power and coal in preparation for the meeting between Chinese President Hu Jintao and his Russian counterpart, who is expected to visit China to attend a Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit scheduled for June 6-7 in Beijing.
“Russia is rich in natural resources and the Chinese market has great potential,” said the Chinese official, adding that the two sides should boost their cooperation on natural resources “unswervingly” and “strategically.”
Wang hailed the China-Russia crude oil pipeline that transports 15 million metric tons of crude oil as a “landmark” energy cooperation project between the two nations.
The two sides should strengthen their cooperation on allowing Chinese enterprises to take part in Russia’s project development at the upstream part of the industrial chain and giving Russian enterprises a role in China’s refinement at the downstream end to realize complementary advantages, said the Chinese official.
During the meeting, Wang also called for the two nations to deepen cooperation on nuclear energy.
China is willing to encourage its enterprises to cooperate with their Russian partners on trading coal and integrating the exploitation of coal resources, among other activities, he said.
Chinese enterprises are also encouraged to import electricity from Russia and further advance pragmatic cooperation with their Russian partners in building electricity grids, he added.
Dvorkovich, for his part, said there is great potential for cooperation between Russia and China on natural resources, petroleum, nuclear power, coal, electricity and recyclable energy resources.
Echoing Wang on the importance of energy cooperation, the deputy prime minister said Russia regards China as a stable and long-term market for energy resources, and it is willing to work together with the Chinese side to achieve new results in some key areas of cooperation.