China and Russia on Saturday signed a raft of agreements, that ranged from the areas of food and energy security to military, cementing the strategic core of a relationship that apprehends Washington’s growing military presence in their backyards.
Over 30 agreements have been signed during Russian President Vladimir Putin’s whirlwind visit to Beijing, China’s state run Xinhua news agency reported.
The agreements covered joint development of a long-range civilian aircraft. On Monday, Russian Deputy-Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin told reporters that Moscow was starting the development of the heavy aircraft engine with a thrust of 35 tonnes for the aircraft.
The two countries are also developing a heavy-lift helicopter based on Chinese specifications. It would have a maximum take-off weight of 38.2 tonnes, and fly at maximum speed of 300 km per hour. The Russians say they have developed their own engine to replace the one that was earlier from Ukraine.
During the talks, Mr. Xi called for dovetailing China’s Belt and Road connectivity initiative with the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union (EEU) plan. The two leaders signed a joint statement on strengthening global strategic stability and another on promoting the development of cyber-space.
Analysts say that the fear of the growing presence of NATO forces on Russia’s borders, and the ‘Pivot to Asia’ doctrine of the Obama administration, as well as tensions in the South China Sea, are providing the cement for closer Beijing-Moscow ties.