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Expert: China is one of Belarus' closest partners outside CIS

Belarus and China are bound by decades of cooperation. But in recent years, dialogue between the two countries has revived. This was facilitated by regular meetings at the highest level.

In May 2015, head of China Xi Jinping visited Minsk.  Back then the heads of state held official talks and signed a Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation between Belarus and China, as well as a joint declaration on the further development and deepening the comprehensive strategic partnership.

For Alexander Lukashenko, this will be the eighth visit to China. Over the past two decades, bilateral trade has grown by more than 100 times.

Belarus is implementing 20 investment projects involving Chinese credit resources. According to experts, we are talking about a sum of more than $5.5 billion. Ongoing projects in the energy, industry and real estate. They include car assembly, construction of a plant for the production of bleached pulp and the largest joint project the Industrial Park "Great Stone". It will take an important place in the economic belt Silk Road.

Alexey Belyaev, political analyst:
China is one of Belarus' closest partners outside the CIS. Trade between our countries is growing. At the same time, for Belarus it is very important to find new markets amid this crisis and the global economic turmoil. Cooperation aiming to create high-tech products is vital. Belarus is making its way in the new economic projects proclaimed by China. The project Silk Road affects our entire country. Belarus is now building new logistics centers, which, in turn, means new jobs. Moreover this means taxes to the state treasury.

In 2014, the Ministry of Commerce of China and the Ministry of Economy of Belarus signed a protocol on the joint establishment of the economic belt Silk Road.

Military contacts reached a new level. In June, near Brest, the special forces of the two countries worked out the preparation and conduct anti-terrorist operations. Belarus and China held similar drills in 2011 and 2012.

Arseny Sivitsky, director of the Center for Strategic and foreign research:
China in 2014 surpassed the United States in terms of investment in scientific, technical and engineering developments in the military sphere. In this regard, of course, China is an advanced state. We are interested in strengthening these ties. Today we are discussing joint development of new weapons systems, including an anti-aircraft missile system of medium-range, as well as a number of other projects.

President Alexander Lukashenko has just arrived in China. There, the Belarusian head of state will take part in celebrations to mark the 70th anniversary of the victory in the Anti-Japanese War and the Second World War. 

Also on agenda are a series of bilateral meetings between Alexander Lukashenko and Chinese leadership.

Alexey Belyaev, political analyst