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Putin visits China to attend Asian summit

An energy deal between China and Russia is expected.
By Ed Adamczyk   |   May 20, 2014 at 11:52 AM   |   Comments

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SHANGHAI , May 20 (UPI) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Shanghai Tuesday for talks with Chinese leaders and a summit meeting of Asian countries.

Russia and China, facing criticism for incursions in Ukraine and the South China Sea, respectively, are expected to announce an energy deal, a sale of Russian natural gas to China, during the summit.

The fourth meeting of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia includes United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and representatives of 40 countries and organizations.

It is Putin's first visit to China since Chinese president Xi Jinping took office.

Putin, in an interview with Chinese reporters prior to his arrival, said cooperation between the two countries "is at the highest level in history." Bilateral trade between China and Russia reached $90 billion in 2013, and both want to see it increased to $200 billion by the end of the decade, commerce agencies said.

As Russia was denounced for its annexation of Crimea and deployment of troops near the Ukraine border, China has faced similar condemnation for the installation of an oil rig in disputed waters in the South China Sea. Demonstrators burned Chinese-owned factories in Vietnam last week in protest, leading to an evacuation of Chinese citizens.

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