Russia, China PMs to Meet on High-Speed Rail, New Silk Road
October 5, 2014 • 11:32AM

The Chinese Foreign Ministry announced Saturday that Russia and China will hold their annual prime ministers summit on October 13 in Russia. Xinhua and Reuters, among others, report that some 30 agreements will be signed, including some on finance, energy, and rail. PM Medvedev and Deputy PM Rogozin will represent the Russian side; PM Li Kegiang and Vice Premier Wang Yang will represent China. Although details are sparse, press accounts note that this comes in the context of the “enormous Sino-Russian joint ventures, including a landmark $400 billion gas deal” agreed to earlier this year by Putin and Xi Jinping.

Li will also be going to the 10th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) summit in Milan on Oct. 16-17, which, Xinhua reports, “will see more efforts by China to push for deeper cooperation and enhanced mutual trust between Asia and Europe. It will also further drive home the conceptions of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road promoted by China, which have been hailed by Renzi as good opportunities to enhance East-West cultural and political links.”

Lyndon LaRouche commented today that this upcoming activity is “more than interesting,” and “indicates real momentum of what is going to happen,” even more than what has already occurred among Russia, China, and the other BRICS nations.

The, in covering the upcoming Russia-China meeting, recalls what Putin said in the context of last month’s meeting with Xi at the SCO meeting:

“We see great potential in the idea of developing a common SCO transport system that would make use too of Russia’s Trans-Siberian Railway and Baikal-Amur Mainline and be tied into China’s plans for developing the Silk Road route. I am sure that big projects of this kind serve the interests of our organizations’ members and would benefit all countries in Eurasia.”

“It is absolutely clear that we will be expanding collaboration with China. Our trade with the United States is 27.5 [billion], but trade with China is 87 billion, and it is growing. And experts will agree that China is gradually becoming the number one economic power. The question is when it will happen: in 15, 20 or 25 years. But everybody understands that it is inevitable.”

The article also emphasized that the Russian and Chinese central banks have recently agreed on a draft currency-swap agreement, which will allow them to increase trade in domestic currencies and cut the dependence on the US dollar in bilateral payments. They noted a Bloomberg report that yuan-ruble trade on the Moscow Exchange has jumped 10-fold this year to $749 million in August. Earlier last month, Moscow and Beijing entered into a pact to boost use of the ruble and yuan for trade transactions.

The Chinese Premier will also visit Germany, Italy and the UN Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) headquarters in Rome during his Oct. 9-16 Europe trip. Xinhua adds:

“Observers expect the upcoming trip could greatly enhance China’s relations with the destination countries, promote the pragmatic cooperation between China and Europe and propel the Asia-Europe dialogue.” As for Germany specifically, “the two governments will focus their consultations on formulating an action program to develop their strategic partnership and promote their pragmatic cooperation in trade, economy, technology and other fields, especially in the area of innovation,’ said former Chinese ambassador to Germany Mei Zhaorong.”