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    CHINESE PREMIER URGES RUSSIA TO EXPAND COOPERATION IN POWER SECTOR

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    BEJING, 14 March, 2004. (RIA Novosti correspondent) - Premier of China's State Council, Wen Jiabao, called on Russia to expand cooperation in the power sector.

    China and Russia have "a great potential for expanding their trade and economic cooperation" because the economies of our two countries complement each other and enjoy a great advantage of geographical neighbourliness, the Chinese Premier said at a press conference held after the annual session of the Chinese parliament closed work on Sunday.

    He laid a special emphasis on development of bilateral cooperation in the power sector and made it clear that China is interested in realization of the project envisaging construction of a pipeline for exporting Russian oil to China. According to Wen Jiabao, he believes that Russia will continue work on "issues conductive to expansion of its cooperation with China, including in development and production of energy resources such as oil and natural gas".

    "We are witnessing a crucial period in implementation of major programs of economic cooperation between China and Russia, and I believe that we have a vast potential for expanding our cooperation in the power sector", the Premier said.

    Wen Jiabao took a very favourable view of the current state of the Chinese-Russian relations, stressing that the two countries have a joint 4,300 km border and are good neighbours.

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