BEIJING, June 27 (UPI) -- China is ready to emerge as one of the larger trading partners with Russia in a relationship that extends from military to energy, the Chinese government said.
Russian President Vladimir Putin wrapped up a weekend tour of China with a new legal framework that outlines evolving ties with the Asian superpower. Putin said in a statement that agreements signed in Beijing were "based on mutual respect, friendship and consideration for each other's interests."
China was among those investors named as a possible new stakeholder in Russian oil company Rosneft, on the table as a possible target of a privatization scheme meant to help pull Russia's energy-based economy out of recession. On Saturday, Rosneft Chairman Igor Sechin signed a series of deals with Chinese energy companies, including shipbuilding contracts.
"We have made a strategic decision to develop an unprecedented industrial complex with leading-edge equipment and technologies to help fulfill the shipbuilding requirements for the Russian Federation and to successfully compete in global shipbuilding markets," he said in a statement.
According to the World Bank, the Russian economy will shrink by 1.6 percent this year before recovery emerges in 2017. Dual pressures from lower crude oil prices and Western sanctions have put strains on the Russian economy.
Russian natural gas Gazprom has a 30-year sales agreement with China National Petroleum Corp. to deliver natural gas through a pipeline dubbed the Power of Siberia. Putin said that, for the Kremlin, projects like these are still important for strengthening ties with China, the second largest economy in the world.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei said Monday that all parties were ready to move forward with a broad package of agreements that extended across military, agricultural and energy sectors.
"Russia and China have built constructive mutually beneficial and equal relations," he was quoted by state-run Russian news agency Itar-TASS as saying. "China is ready to jointly with Russia implement the agreements that have been reached."