Chinese President Xi Jinping's upcoming visit to Russia is expected to inject fresh driving force into China-Russia relations and further deepen political mutual trust between the two countries.
At the invitation of Russian President Vladimir Putin, Xi is to pay a state visit to Russia from Monday to Tuesday.
The visit will be Xi's sixth to Russia since taking office in 2013 and will also be the 21st time to hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin. It will also mark the third meeting between the Chinese and Russia heads of state this year.
The following are recent statements made by senior officials and experts from both countries with respect to the upcoming Russia visit by Xi, which reflects how they view the significance of the great event.
"This visit is of great significance," especially at a time when global economic recovery is still sluggish and international situation is complex and volatile, said Chinese Ambassador to Russia Li Hui.
Li said that Xi's visit to Russia will surely "inject new impetus to the development of bilateral relations" and provide new programs for regional economic integration.
"The comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership between China and Russia has been developing stably, sustainably and at a high level," said the ambassador.
In dealing with international affairs, China and Russia have strengthened strategic cooperation and have played their due role as major countries, said Li, noting that they have been jointly pushing for a political settlement of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue and the Syrian issue.
The two countries, he pointed out, serve as a ballast for regional and global peace and stability.
It is a strategic choice for China and Russia to strengthen their relations since it is in line with the core interests of both countries and their peoples, said Li.
"No matter how the international environment changes, we should make all-out efforts to maintain and improve bilateral relations," said the ambassador.
Assistant Minister of Foreign Affairs Li Huilai said at a press conference on Thursday that Xi's visit to Russia is expected to boost high-level development of bilateral comprehensive strategic cooperative partnership to new heights, and contribute to regional and global peace and prosperity.
China has been Russia's largest trading partner for six years and Russia has been a major source for China to import energy and high-tech products.
According to China's General Administration of Customs, China-Russia trade grew 33.7 percent in the first five months this year to 223.1 billion yuan (about 32.8 billion U.S. dollars).
"Given the dynamics of trade development, the goal for the immediate future of 80 billion dollars, in my opinion, is definitely complicated, but realistic," Russian Economic Development Minister Maxim Oreshkin said, talking about prospects for the development of annual trade between Russia and China.
"I'm convinced that the forthcoming visit of President of the People's Republic of China Xi Jinping to Russia in July will give an additional impetus to cooperation in various fields and will allow us to come closer to the goal of bringing mutual trade to 200 billion dollars by 2020," Oreshkin said.
"The close working relationship between the two heads of states and their personal friendship have become a 'locomotive' in the development of bilateral relations between China and Russia," said Chen Yurong, a senior researcher in Eurasian studies at the China Institute of International Studies.
"They can exchange views on almost everything, which reflects the high level of political trust between the two countries," Chen said.
In addition, vast opportunities are seen in the pairing of the China-proposed Belt and Road Initiative and the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU), which is also on the agenda of the upcoming talks between the two heads of state.
Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi said last month that work is steadily progressing in bringing together the two initiatives closer.
Earlier this month, Putin also expressed confidence in the prospects of connecting the two development plans, something he hopes will start a new stage of cooperation in Eurasia and beyond.
"I have no doubt that we will work together and this work will be effective and beneficial for the Chinese and Russian peoples as well as the global economy," Putin said.
The Belt and Road Initiative, proposed by China in 2013, consists of the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st-Century Maritime Silk Road. It aims to build a trade and infrastructure network connecting Asia with Europe and Africa along and beyond the ancient Silk Road trade routes.
The EAEU comprises Russia, Armenia, Belarus, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan, with an aim of encouraging regional economic integration through the free movement of goods, services and people within the union.