Publication: Monitor Volume: 2 Issue: 81

Reports out of Beijing suggested that the two biggest economic projects likely to be discussed by Russian and Chinese leaders are the development of a gas pipeline from Siberia to the Yellow Sea, a project that remains in its preliminary stages, and the construction of a nuclear power plant in the northeastern Chinese province of Liaoning. Russia would supply two reactors for the latter project, which has been in the negotiating stage for three years. Last month Chinese officials reported that Russia had offered Beijing a 15-year, $2 billion loan to jump-start the project. (See Monitor, March 28) Mikhailov said that he expects during this trip "to sign a framework agreement and a technical agreement" connected with the nuclear project, although he said Moscow does "not have the final price of the contract yet." (Reuter, UPI, Interfax, April 24)

Russian foreign trade minister Oleg Davydov said prior to his departure for Beijing that, following a significant slump, trade between Russia and China has been increasing at a steady rate. Trade turnover in 1995 was $5.48 billion, he said, up 7.6 percent from 1994. Russian exports to China last year totaled $3.8 billion, an increase of 8.7 percent, while imports from China equaled $1.66 billion, an increase of 5.6 percent. Davydov applauded the fact that barter trade as a share of total trade between the two countries had dropped nearly 30 percent last year, being replaced by deals concluded in convertible currency. He said that some 1,500 joint Russo-Chinese enterprises have been established in Russia. (Itar-Tass, April 24)

Putting the Spin on Russo-Chinese Border Problems.