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Energy, Rabbit Husbandry Among 35 Deals Sealed on Xi's Visit

www.kremlin.ruPresident Vladimir Putin with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

The†first day of†Chinese President Xi Jinping's official visit to†Russia on†Friday saw the†signing of†35 bilateral agreements touching on†everything from†natural gas to†cultural exchange to†rabbit husbandry, as well an†overarching commitment to†double bilateral trade by†2020.

As expected, the†two sides devoted much of†their attention to†energy, signing agreements to†cooperate on†the construction of†an oil refinery in†the Chinese port city of†Tianjin, as well as on†projects to†boost oil trade and†send natural gas and†electricity from†the Russian Far East to†China.

But also sealed deals on†cultural centers and†radio stations, as well as two separate agreements that will see the†countries boost state and†commercial cooperation on†rabbit husbandry.

Bilateral trade rose by†11.2 percent last year to†hit a†record high of†$88.2 billion, and†Xi's visit was accompanied by†a pledge to†grow trade to†$100 by†2015 and†$200 billion by†2020, according to†a statement on†the Kremlin's website. China is already Russia's largest trading partner.

Xi and†Putin used the†occasion to†affirm their "unprecedentedly" warm ties and†shared intention to†champion non-intervention and†multi-polarity on†the international level.

Russia and†China have stood shoulder-to-shoulder against intervention in†Syria's bloody civil war and†pushed for†restraint in†addressing Iran and†North Korean nuclear ambitions, positions that have often put them at†loggerheads with the†United States and†its European allies.

Xi described Putin as his "old, good friend" and†said the†decision to†make Russia his first foreign visit was a†sign of†the "strong and†special nature" of†Chinese-Russian ties.

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