The official visit of Chinese Prime Minister Li Peng to Moscow, due on February 17-18, will be an important step in preparations for the first informal meeting between the Russian and Chinese presidents, Leonid Moiseyev of the Russian Foreign Ministry told Itar-Tass on Saturday.
Moiseyev, chief of the Asia department in the ministry, said Li Peng would meet President Boris Yeltsin and Prime Minister Viktor Chernomyrdin for discussing the agenda of Yeltsin's meeting with Chinese President Jiang Zemin scheduled for the second half of 1998.
Yeltsin proposed the informal meeting during his visit to China in November.
Moiseyev said Li Peng and Chernomyrdin are expected to sign seven-eight accords on trade and inter-governmental cooperation in a high-speed passenger fleet project.
The project is to launch joint production of hydrofoil ships to be used on China's major rivers, primarily the Yangtze, where Russian-made passenger ships had won acclaim.
The package will include a trade accord for 1998, an agreement on an easier procedure for border crossing by Russians on trips to China's trading centres and on opening a new border crossing in the Maritime territory. The crossing between will link sea ports of the Russian Far East with northeastern China, with more convenience in China's exports bound for the Asia-Pacific region.
Le Peng's Moscow talks will address China's debt on two governmental loans from the former Soviet Union and major fuel and energy projects.
One is for exports of the Siberian gas to China and Asia Pacific countries and the other for sales of electricity from the Irkutsk region to northeastern China.
Another line of cooperation to be discussed in talks is in civil aviation. A project is being considered for exports of Russian-produced passenger airliners to China and for setting up joint ventures.
The sides will discuss international matters, primarily the situation surrounding Iraq.
"We expect that Moscow and Beijing will reaffirm their pos ... Read more