Russia, China sign economic deals despite Western criticism
The memorandums of understanding were signed during Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin's visit to Beijing
Russia and China have signed a number of economic agreements amid Western criticism over the ties between the two nations as the war in Ukraine drags on.
Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, who is on a visit to China, held talks with Premier Li Qiang and was scheduled to meet President Xi Jinping on Wednesday.
"Today, relations between Russia and China are at an unprecedented high level," Mishustin told Li outside Beijing's Great Hall of the People.
"They are characterized by mutual respect of each other's interests, the desire to jointly respond to challenges, which is associated with increased turbulence in the international arena and the pattern of sensational pressure from the collective West," he added.
Li, spoke about the "comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between China and Russia in the new era."
What did the leaders sign?
A pact to boost investment cooperation in trade services, an agreement on export of agricultural products to China, and another deal on sports cooperation were among the memorandums of understanding signed.
Beijing is Moscow's largest trading partner.
According to Chinese customs data, bilateral trade reached a record $190 billion (€176 billion) last year.
On Wednesday, Li pointed out that trade between the two countries has already reached $70 billion this year.
"This is a year-on-year increase of more than 40%," the premier said.
"The scale of investment between the two countries is also continuously upgrading," he said. "Strategic large-scale projects are steadily advancing."
China has brushed aside attempts by the West to link its partnership with Russia to the war in Ukraine and has stressed that ties between Moscow and Beijing are not in violation of international norms.
"China is willing to work with Russia to implement the joint cooperation between the two countries, and promoting pragmatic cooperation in various fields can take it to a new level," Li told the Russian prime minister.
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