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Putin, Hu to meet at regional summit Aug 16 in Kyrgyzstan -1

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Russia's president said Friday he would meet with his Chinese counterpart at a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Kyrgyzstan's capital, Bishkek, on August 16.
(Recasts headline, lead, para 2, adds 3-7)

NOVO-OGARYOVO, July 13 (RIA Novosti) - Russia's president said Friday he would meet with his Chinese counterpart at a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Kyrgyzstan's capital, Bishkek, on August 16.

"We are planning a meeting soon with the Chinese president [Hu Jintao] on the sidelines of the SCO," Vladimir Putin said at a meeting with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi.

Putin said bilateral trade had hit a record annual level of $30 billion. A Chinese state councilor, Tang Jiaxuan, said earlier trade between China and Russia could exceed $40 billion in 2007.

Oil and gas, timber, pulp and paper have dominated Russia's exports to the fast-growing Asian nation's economy, in addition to military hardware. But Moscow has moved to diversify exports by adding high-tech equipment to the traditional commodities.

Chinese exports to Russia traditionally include inexpensive clothes, consumer electronics, and manufacturing equipment. But the share of high-tech products has increased dramatically in the last two years - to 24% of the total, according to Chinese media.

The regional group, founded in Shanghai 2001 by Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan, Russia and China, deals with security issues, but increasingly focuses on economics and transportation.

The SCO runs a joint anti-terrorism center in Shanghai and has India, Pakistan, and Iran as observers.

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