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Xi to visit Russia to prompt pipeline deals

Xi to visit Russia to prompt pipeline deals

China anticipates a breakthrough in energy talks during President Xi Jinping’s visit to Moscow this week. The visit will be the first state trip abroad for Xi since he was appointed Communist Party chief in November and president last week, the official Xinhua News Agency said.

China wants to sign an agreement on a natural-gas pipeline during Xi’s three-day trip starting tomorrow, Vice Foreign Minister Cheng Guoping said at a briefing in Beijing Wednesday.

“We will have some outcomes related to energy, investment and major projects of strategic importance,” Cheng said. “We expect some breakthrough on these pragmatic cooperation fields.”

A deal on a gas pipeline would bring to fruition a decade of talks to supply as much as 68 billion cubic meters of gas a year to the world’s second-biggest economy. That and other agreements during Xi’s visit may boost relations as Russia and China seek stronger alliances to counter what they see as U.S. efforts to exert more influence in the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East.

China and Russia should “strengthen coordination in international and regional affairs to safeguard world peace, safety and stability,” Xi said in an interview, according to the Xinhua News Agency.