Konstantin Kosachev: Interregional cooperation is a priority in developing Russia-China relations

Video conference by the heads of legislative bodies of Russian regions and assemblies of people’s representatives of Chinese regions.

A video conference by the heads of legislative bodies of Russian regions and assemblies of people’s representatives of Chinese regions took place with the participation of Federation Council Deputy Speaker Konstantin Kosachev and Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress Ji Bingxuan.

 Konstantin Kosachev said that in this way they are making a real contribution to implementing the agreements reached by the President of Russia and the President of China and developed at the recent meeting of the Federation Council Speaker and the Chairman of the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress.

Konstantin Kosachev recalled that the first meeting at this level took place in July of the past year and confirmed the desire of both sides to continue developing bilateral cross-border and inter-regional cooperation.

According to the Deputy Speaker, at that meeting the participants displayed mutual interest in intensifying ties practically in all areas – trade, science, technology, agriculture, tourism, education, environmental protection, and biomedicine. They discussed protecting cross-border water reservoirs, drafting joint educational programmes and sharing experience with household waste disposal. Special attention was paid to the building of international transport corridors.

“Many initiatives undertaken by our regions last year were developed further at a practical level,” Deputy Speaker Kosachev said.

 “Interregional cooperation is a priority area in the development of Russia-China relations. It is a major source of growth in practical bilateral interaction. Practically all regions of the Russian Federation maintain trade and economic relations with China, while 59 Russian regions have cooperation agreements with Chinese provinces. These relations are oriented to expanding mutually beneficial contacts in trade, industry, agriculture, science, and people-to-people ties, to name a few. There is growing interest on both sides in implementing joint investment projects. The geography of their cooperation continues expanding. Today, it covers not only border areas but also China’s coastal provinces and Russia’s central regions,” the Deputy Speaker said.

 Konstantin Kosachev believes that promoting bilateral ties requires a focus on adjusting new forms of interaction, creating reliable supply channels and expediting the transition to settlements in roubles and yuans. Mr Kosachev noted that border and interregional cooperation has tremendous anti-sanction potential because it is not carried out at a macro level that is subject to external control and because it grants more cooperation opportunities to small and medium companies.

In this context, the Deputy Speaker emphasised the huge amount of border contacts in environmental protection, use of trans-border water resources, exchange of hydrological information, pollution prevention and flood safety.

Konstantin Kosachev also spoke about bilateral scientific, technical and innovative cooperation, sports and cultural contacts, as well as efforts to promote the Russian language and organise higher education in universities of both countries.

Vice Chairman of the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress Ji Bingxuan noted that the video conference would raise the level of Russia-China cooperation, in part, between the legislative bodies of Russia and China.

First Deputy Chair of the Federation Council Committee on Foreign Affairs Andrey Denisov emphasised that cooperation between Russian and Chinese regions is result-oriented.

The video conference was also attended by senators Grigory Karasin, Andrei Shevchenko, Vladimir Dzhabarov and speakers of legislative assemblies of the Jewish Autonomous Region, the Republic of Bashkortostan, the Volgograd, Voronezh and Novosibirsk regions, the Trans-Baikal Territory, and deputy speakers of legislative assemblies of the Krasnoyarsk Territory and the Orenburg Region.

The participants discussed four sets of issues, including the expansion of bilateral legislative foundation for coordinating international and foreign trade ties between Russia and China. They also discussed issues related to promoting transport and logistics cooperation and developing production cooperation. Then participants discussed prospects for cooperation in agriculture, infrastructure construction, science and technology innovation, the digital economy and environmental protection. They also reviewed Russia-China people-to-people ties and regional cooperation in tourism.

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