16:37 GMT +315 December 2018
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    The Russian and Chinese national flags are seen on the table as Russia's President Vladimir Putin (back L) and his China's President Xi Jinping (back R) stand during a signing ceremony at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse in Beijing on November 9, 2014.

    China Ready to Boost Trade With Russia - Chinese Premier

    © AFP 2018 / HOW HWEE YOUNG
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    BEIJING (Sputnik) - China is ready to further develop cooperation with Russia, increasing bilateral trade and facilitating mutual access to the markets of the two states, Premier of the Chinese State Council Li Keqiang said during his meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Singapore.

    The talks were held on Thursday on the sidelines of the East-Asia Summit and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit.

    READ MORE: Russian Minister Suggests Ditching Dollar Trade With China Won't Affect Ruble

    "Russia and China still have a lot of opportunities to develop business cooperation. The Chinese side is ready to continue to deepen cooperation with Russia in trade, investment and finance, energy and innovation," the premier was quoted as saying by the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

    According to the Chinese premier, Beijing is ready to work with the Russian side on "facilitating mutual access to the two countries' markets, boosting trade and investment, and promoting the implementation of high-technology projects."

    The Russian leader, in turn, said that Moscow was ready for new advancements with China in various fields, including space, digital economy and energy.

    "Russia is ready to work with China to implement the existing agreements and at the same time promote further advancement in energy, space, aviation, scientific and technical cooperation along with cooperation in joint research and digital economy," Putin was quoted as saying by the ministry.

    In 2017, trade between Russia and China amounted to almost $87 billion, seeing an over $20 billion surge compared to the previous year and making China Russia's key trading partner along with the European Union, according to the Russian Federal Customs Service.

    In the first nine months of 2018, bilateral trade increased by almost 28 percent year-on-year, hitting nearly $79 billion. Moreover, Russia's exports to China have seen an over 50 percent leap and reached $40 billion.

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