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Siberia the winner as new energy deals dominate Russian-Chinese summit in Moscow

By The Siberian Times reporter
23 March 2013

The Chinese media - and even more the country's social media - saw glamorous new first lady Peng Liyuan as the star of the summit.

Rosneft will receive a $2 billion loan from China as part of this pact, which will be finalised later this year; Gazprom secured a deal paving the way for a 30 year contract which will begin to supply China via Siberia in 2018. Picture: mitbbs.cn

Of greater strategic significance from President Xi Jinping's first state visit were the approval of new major and 'historic' energy deals linked to Siberia.

'I can say that from my point of view, my visit has already achieved its aim and the results have already far exceeded my expectations', said Xi on Saturday. Earlier, President Vladimir Putin said: 'We can already say this is a historic visit with positive results'.

The two leaders presided over the signing of an agreement between Russian oil giant Rosneft and China's state-owned CNPC. This will see Russian oil supplies rise over the next quarter of a century by up to 31 million tonnes from the current level of 15 million tonnes. 

Rosneft will receive a $2 billion loan from China as part of this pact, which will be finalised later this year. 

'China is a strategic market for Rosneft,' said the company's president Igor Sechin.

Gazprom secured a deal paving the way for a 30 year contract which will begin to supply China via Siberia in 2018.

Two further stages of this agreement will come in June and at the end of the year. A spur from the new 'Strength of Siberia' pipeline to Vladivostok will be used to supply China. A $2 billion agreement to develop coal resources in the Russian Far East was inked by  Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin and his Chinese counterpart Wang Yang.

The two leaders also expressed the desire to boost tourism between the two countries. The Chinese leader said he had chosen Russia for his first state visit since assuming the presidency in Beijing 'in order to show this importance, this special character of our relations'.

He told Putin: 'You and I are good friends'.

The First Lady of China on Peng Liyuan

'In contrast to previous first ladies, who usually wore loose and plain outfits, Peng wore an elegant dark coat and a pale blue scarf, matching her husband's dark coat and tie. She also carried a handbag bearing no brand'. Picture: mitbbs.cn

And he emphasised to students in Moscow that close relations between the two powers 'not only answer to our interests but also serve as an important, reliable guarantee of an international strategic balance and peace'.

Russian premier Dmitry Medvedev said more than 30 documents had been signed in 'a very significant contribution to developing our relations'.

The Chinese and Hong Kong media were eager to monitor 50 year old folk singer Peng's first outing as the country's first lady. 

Traditionally, first ladies in China have remained in the background, but this is all changing now. Peng was escorted around the Kremlin by Putin's wife's Lyudmila, in her third stint as first lady.

The South China Morning Post recorded:  'Holding his arm was his wife, Peng Liyuan, who was making her first official public appearance as first lady.

'It marked the start of a hectic two-day visit that highlights Beijing's eagerness to foster closer ties with Russia.

'Peng, 50, a famous soprano, has kept a low profile since her husband became vice-president in 2008, quitting performances and doing charity work.

'But expectations had mounted over the past month that she would accompany Xi on his first foreign trip as president.

'In contrast to previous first ladies, who usually wore loose and plain outfits, Peng wore an elegant dark coat and a pale blue scarf, matching her husband's dark coat and tie. She also carried a handbag bearing no brand'.

Comments (1)

I simply can't believe Peng Liyuan is 50. Love her style, and love it about the bag carrying no designer name...
amazed Siberian, Krasnoyarsk
25/03/2013 23:45
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