HONG KONG — Less than one week after becoming the new president of China, Xi Jinping is scheduled to visit Russia on March 22 to discuss an energy deal with Russia President Vladimir Putin, Xinhua news agency reported.
China is hoping to sign an agreement with Russia on a natural-gas pipeline.
“Energy cooperation is the crown jewel of China and Russia cooperation,” Li Lifan, deputy director at the Center of Russia and Central Asia Studies at Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, told Bloomberg News.
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Many Chinese citizens are outraged and have flooded China's Twitter with more than 1,300 nationalist comments, the South China Morning Post reported. The comments express anger over the large chunk of territory that China gave up to the Russian Empire — back in the 19th century.
"Chinese nationalists are taking this opportunity to have a flame war with the Russian embassy's Twitter page," said GlobalPost senior correspondent Benjamin Carlson.
"An unfortunate way to open the meeting, but one unlikely to matter much. China and Russia's relations are all about realpolitik, not warm and fuzzy mutual admiration," Carlson said, adding:
Despite some shared interests — counterbalancing America, increased trade — their relationship historically has been one of friction and deep mutual suspicion. That's not going to change anytime soon.
Benjamin Carlson contributed to this report from Hong Kong.