Russia, China ink key deals

ST PETERSBURG - China and Russia have reached deals on a number of large-scale investment projects during Vice-Premier Zhang Gaoli's visit to Moscow, marking Beijing's first successful export of its home-grown high-speed railway technology.

Mr Zhang, who wrapped up his visit last Saturday, also met Russian President Vladimir Putin, who reaffirmed his plan to visit Beijing in September to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Chinese victory against Japanese invasion during World War II.

The development is a reflection of Moscow's strategic changes, as it aims to foster a new era of close relations with China while locking horns with the West over the crisis in Ukraine, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Among other projects, Mr Zhang and his Russian counterpart Igor Shuvalov witnessed the signing of a contract worth 20.8 billion roubles (S$513 million) between Chinese and Russian companies to design a high-speed railway between Moscow and the south-eastern Russian city of Kazan.

The contract is the first export for China in this field following years of success at home, after its forays in Mexico and Thailand hit a snag.

The railway is scheduled to be completed by 2018. With a maximum design speed of 400kmh, it will carry millions of passengers every year and reduce travel time from 14 hours to 31/2 hours. In the long run, the line will be extended to Yekaterinburg, 1,600km to the east of Moscow, and become part of a planned Beijing-Moscow high-speed corridor.

XINHUA

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 22, 2015, with the headline 'Russia, China ink key deals'. Print Edition | Subscribe