Russia's President Hosts Chinese Counterpart for Summit
Russian President Vladimir Putin welcomes Chinese President Hu Jintao to Moscow Thursday for a four-day official visit. The two leaders are expected to talk on strengthening bilateral relations, especially in the areas of energy and trade.
One day before President Putin was to host his Chinese counterpart, the Kremlin announced that 2006 would officially be named the Year of Russia in China, with the Year of China to follow in Russia in 2007.
The growing sense of accord between the two neighbors, is not lost on analysts. Many say that while this week's talks will not likely lead to any real breakthroughs, they will go a long way toward forging what officials on both sides are calling, a new relationship.
Key to that relationship is bilateral trade. It topped $21 billion last year and Russian government officials predict trade figures could triple over the next five years.
But a lot will depend on whether Russia grants China much wanted access to future Russian oil and gas projects, including a long-sought Trans-Siberian pipeline deal over its rival Japan. So far, Russia has only committed to boost its oil deliveries by rail to energy-starved China by 11 millions tons this year.
Both leaders have said they regret the collapse of the Soviet Union and, at present, find themselves looking for new ways to work together in the face of dramatic changes, perhaps nowhere more so than in Central Asia.
President Hu travels to Kazakhstan early next week for a meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The regional security body groups Russia, China, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan and Tajikistan.
The Russian and Chinese leaders will then meet again at the upcoming G-8 Summit in Scotland.
Lisa McAdams VOA news, Moscow.
bilateral [bai5lAtErEl] adj. 双边的
counterpart [5kauntEpB:t] n. 相对人物
breakthrough [5breik5Wru:] n. 突破
grant [^rB:nt] vt. 同意，准予，承认
rival [5raivEl] n. 竞争者，对手