US-India trade war is more myth than realityUS President Trump seems busy opening multiple war fronts as he moves closer to the 2020 presidential election while hoping to cash in on his brand of virulent jingoism that has kept him in the eye of a storm of global contention.

President Trump ended preferential trade treatment for NATO-ally Turkey effective May 17 and threatened a 5 percent tariff on goods from NAFTA-partner Mexico starting June 10. India is the latest addition to Trump’s list of nations targeted for his “maximum pressure” strategy.

Does this mean India will forever lose its designation as a beneficiary developing nation?

Prima facie, the increasingly aggressive approach of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who has just returned to power with a larger mandate than his historic victory in 2014, could turn Trump’s move into a red-line violation. The response could be goaded by Modi’s ambitious “Make in India” vision and his dreams of India becoming a $5 trillion economy during his second term.

There are reasons why any US-India trade war would be symbolic rather than substantive with any systemic implications. First, compared to the US annual imports of $558 billion from China, its imports from India stand at over $83 billion.

This hardly makes a US-India trade war transformative, and it could avoid global headlines. Moreover, Trump’s decision on US imports from India would involve no more than $5 billion compared to its $83.2 billion in global imports that qualify for US tariff-exemptions.

India has chosen a strategy of asymmetric accommodation rather than confrontation, with visible dividends. Purchase of Russian S-400 air defense systems last year by India is just one example. The US didn’t slap sanctions on India due to the military deal. India is also a major defense partner that has ordered over $15 billion in US weapons systems in the last 10 years. As a result of India’s diplomacy, Modi remains one of the few world leaders having escaped Trump’s fiery tirades, tweets, and temper.

The first day of Modi’s second term began with an accusation from the US that India had yet to give it “equitable and reasonable access to its markets.” But this was again a modest expression of Trump’s displeasure that merely justified stripping India of the exemption that had allowed an extended one year period for select nations when Trump announced wide-ranging tariffs.

In addition to the increased tariffs on steel and aluminum, pulling the exemption will impact Indian exports like jewelry, textiles, washing machines, auto parts, agriculture products, and even solar panels.

In maintaining its accommodating tone, the first response from the Modi government described the move as “unfortunate,” accepting it as the result of failed negotiations. India’s “development imperatives and concerns” were also cited as its “people also aspire better standards of living,” making it difficult to comply with US demands.

By creating space for US concessions, India announced it would impose tariffs worth $240 million on US almonds, apples, and metal products, but has postponed doing so on multiple occasions.

At the same time, India has quietly resisted increasing US pressure to open markets for their dairy products, medical devices, and other goods, while raising tariffs on premium products like Harley Davidson motorcycles.

The key to the emerging trajectories of US-India trade tensions is rooted in their emerging geopolitical irritations. The US has not been appreciative of India’s assertions of “strategic autonomy” especially when it comes to regime change strategies using stifling sanctions against Iran and Venezuela, India’s third and fourth largest suppliers.

The first two years of the Trump administration saw him positioning India at the center of his South Asia policy and his “Free and Open Indo-Pacific” rhetoric.

Last year, Modi began propagating the inclusion of China and Russia within the Indo-Pacific discourse and ensuring the Quad (US, Japan, Australia, India) would not be allowed to “militarize” or become an “exclusive” club of anti-China powers.

It is within this framework that India’s changing regulations and its proposed Personal Data Protection Bill 2018 have not found favor with US e-commerce companies like Amazon and Walmart-owned Flipkart Group.

As Trump will be distracted or restrained during next year’s US presidential race, this piecemeal simmering of US-India tension will not likely experience any tremors.

Airport warns against tossing coins in plane

A Hainan airport has found itself in the spotlight for setting up a notice board warning passengers that tossing coins in airplane engines as “illegal,” after such incidents at Chinese airports have jeopardized public security and disrupted public order.

The notice board at Sanya Phoenix International Airport in South China’s Hainan Province says in Chinese that “it is illegal to throw money into an airplane to pray for good luck.”

“Tossing coins into the plane’s engine is extremely dangerous to the airplane, which would cause an explosion in the engine,” a staff member from the airport told the Global Times on Monday, noting that they set up the notice board in hopes of stopping such dangerous behavior.

These activities will also cause flight delays and cancellations, passenger detentions at the airport and financial losses.

However, the airport is not defining such behavior as terrorism since passengers have done it spontaneously, he added.

Coin tossers have been frequently found in recent years.

The Beijing News reported 10 such cases in the first half of the year. Most of them just tossed coins in a plane’s engine for good luck.

In February, a 28-year-old man was detained seven days and charged for tossing a coin inside a plane’s engine. His action delayed the flight and cost the airline nearly 140,000 yuan ($21,000).

A senior engineer told the Beijing News that after confirming the number of coins, they usually need to open the engine and find them with a device similar to a gastroscope. Total losses can run in the millions yuan.

Some analysts believe that it reflects the conflict between superstition and modern thinking. The seriousness of this conflict lies in the fact that individual behavior driven by ignorance can easily threaten public security.

China’s Criminal Law states that whoever sabotages an aircraft to such a degree that the aircraft is in danger of being destroyed, without causing serious consequences, shall be sentenced to up to 10 years in jail.

Hollow claims by US on caring about Chinese human rights

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made an announcement on Monday in which he accused China of “abusing human rights” and smeared China’s resolute measures to maintain national stability in the late 1980s. He also criticized China’s anti-terrorism and crime fighting measures in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region. The US has stepped up its attacks on China on human rights issues simply because Washington’s trade war with China is proving to be invalid. Now, the US has decided to impose more pressure on China over human rights issues.

In fact, the US has no credibility to hold the moral high ground. Its accusations are nothing but empty talk from a high-pitched speaker. Pompeo’s statements will not be echoed in Chinese society. Instead, they will reaffirm the Chinese public’s belief that the Trump administration is hostile to China, and a friendly US government to China is probably just pie in the sky.

Chinese are convinced that the US government is trying to deprive China of its continued development and gains for its own benefit. In their opinion, it is supposed to be a zero-sum relationship between the two nations. It is well recognized that the rights of Chinese are mostly rooted in sustained national stability and development. The destruction of China’s stability and development is the ultimate deprivation of the rights of Chinese. The current US government is becoming the top hijacker of Chinese human rights.

Chinese are no longer so naive as to regard the US as a haven, or an impetus, for Chinese human rights. It’s not 30 years ago. The Trump administration always threatens to “replace the labor force in China with that in the US,” or in Southeast Asia. They celebrate every sign that could be interpreted as economic downturn in China. Is that sincere compassion for Chinese human rights?

When Washington announced the start of the trade war, it didn’t care about any negative impact a trade war may have on China’s stockmarket or potential losses it may cause for Chinese shareholders. The US would rather see bigger losses on China to bring the country to its knees. The trade war launched by the US put the welfare of Chinese people at risk. Meanwhile, the same group of US politicians put on another face and made accusations about China’s human rights, as if they really care about individual rights of Chinese people.

Under the campaign of “America First,” the Trump administration has utilized its policies to eliminate the opportunity for social and economic development in many countries that will lead to the improvement of human rights. China is facing perhaps the most vicious and most hypocritical US government since its reform and opening-up.

In examining cases of China’s so-called human rights violations raised by some US politicians, it is obvious that those cases often relate to Chinese dissidents. The purpose is to stir up political division within China in order to split the country. In other words, they are advocating specific rights so that they can disrupt China without taking any responsibility.

It is well recognized that the US vigorously pursues its self-defined human rights philosophy for vicious political purposes. Chinese are becoming increasingly aware of the importance of not accepting human rights issues raised by the US and not accepting US values for obvious political purposes. The improvement of Chinese human rights hinges on China’s continued economic and social development. Chinese know where to go and how to go, and do not need “teachers” that have vicious intentions.

Mr Pompeo, if you really care about Chinese human rights, please order the US State Department to lift the newly-added visa restrictions for Chinese students. Those students have made a lot of preparations for studying abroad, which signifies an important step in their lives. Refusing their visas tramples their individual rights. Secretary Pompeo, who has the power to set visa policies, would make great contributions to Chinese rights if he could lift those visa restrictions.

In other words, the US offers its commiserations for so-called human rights violations in China, yet in actions, it has been trampling on China’s human rights for years. It is time for Mr Pompeo and his colleagues to stop the self-contradictory moves.

China goes ahead with tariffs on $60 billion US goods, FedEx placed under govt probe

China slapped tariffs on $60 billion worth of US goods on Saturday as previously announced in a tit-for-tat measure against the Trump administration, followed by an investigation into US-based express delivery service provider FedEx over its misbehavior on Huawei parcel.

US goods including batteries, household appliances and coffee and many other varieties of commodities are now subject to duties of 10 percent, 20 percent and 25 percent beginning on Saturday, the Xinhua News Agency reported. Those goods that already face a 5 percent tariff are exempt from the hike this time.

The escalation of the tariffs war is to create more troubles for enterprises and consumers of both countries, which, analysts say, will inevitably disrupt global supply lines and inhibit global economic growth.

Also, more steps were taken by China almost simultaneously on Saturday as the trade war with the US entered a white hot phase.

Beijing announced on Saturday that it will release a white paper on its stance on China-US trade negotiations at a press conference on Sunday.

The white paper would be the second issued by the Chinese government since a trade war between the world’s two largest economies began a year ago.

The first white paper focused on the trade frictions, and the second one will focus on trade talks, which entered a sudden deadlock in early May when the US government imposed a 25 percent tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese imports.

On the same day, China moved against FedEx for its diverting and rerouting important parcels owned by Chinese wireless equipment giant Huawei. FedEx was officially under an investigation by Chinese authorities on Saturday, state broadcaster CCTV reported.

The US firm had rerouted parcels containing company documents of Huawei to the US. The company issued an apology for mishandling the packages.

The CCTV report said the action by FedEx has violated Chinese courier delivery regulations and infringed on the customers’ legal rights.

The nation also announced that it will soon release its own rules on its proposed ‘unreliable entity’ list targeting foreign entities that seriously undermine legitimate interests of Chinese companies or pose dangers to China’s national security.

Listed entities, organization and individuals will be subject to unspecified legal and administrative penalties in China, the Commerce Ministry said.

The probe on FedEx will serve as a grave warning to other foreign companies, organizations and individuals that are found to have violated Chinese laws and regulations, a commentary by China Media Group noted on Saturday.

China welcomes foreign companies to invest and do business in its market, but only those that obey market rules and the spirit of contracts and respect the legitimate interests of Chinese consumers stand a chance to prosper, it said.

The probe to FedEx was welcomed by Chinese netizens on social media platforms, with many demanding a thorough investigation into the case.

National Business Daily, a domestic news publication, called China’s actions over the weekend multi-pronged countermeasures hurled at the US.

China issues warning over traveling to US

One day after China issued a warning over studying in the US, two of the country’s key ministries on Tuesday issued another alert over travel to the US, the latest measure to counter the negative consequences Chinese people are facing after the escalation of the US-initiated trade war, which has spread beyond broad economic measures to target the technology, education and tourism sectors.

US law enforcement departments have been increasingly harassing Chinese nationals in the US by questioning them as they enter or exit the country, as well as talking to them in their homes, Chen Xiongfeng, deputy director-general of the Department of Consular Affairs of China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said at a Tuesday press conference in Beijing.

Chen said that Chinese nationals traveling to the US and Chinese companies operating in the US should be on alert to their safety and take preventive measures, and should contact Chinese embassies if necessary.

Echoing Chen, Yu Jiannan, spokesperson for China’s Ministry of Culture and Tourism, said that according to information from Chinese consulates, the rate of crime, including theft, has increased recently in the US, so Chinese nationals should be cautious when traveling to the US and take preventive measures and be alert to their surroundings.

Chen said the travel warning was issued as Chinese consulates across the US have received a lot of complaints from Chinese nationals after they were harassed by American law enforcement departments.

The travel warning is also out of concern over the safety of Chinese nationals, Yu said, noting that the US, despite its position as a major travel destination for Chinese tourists, often experiences incidents of violent crimes which could threaten the safety of Chinese nationals in the North American country.

Twelve people died during the recent tragedy in Virginia Beach on May 31 US time.

The number of Chinese tourists to the US fell 5.7 percent in 2018 to 2.9 million. It was the first time since 2003 that the number of Chinese travelers to the US slipped from the previous year, the Associated Press reported in May.

Yu said that roughly 150 million trips were made abroad in 2018. Tourists choose destinations based on their own will and on the situation of the destination. “Undoubtedly, the most important factor people consider is safety. Chinese tourists will surely make wise choices and cautiously evaluate their travel destinations,” said Yu.

Bai Ming, deputy director of the Ministry of Commerce’s International Market Research Institute, told the Global Times that the number of Chinese tourists to the US far outnumbered those traveling from the US to China, and the US tourism industry is heavily dependent on the rapidly increasing number of Chinese tourists, so a drop in the number of travelers will exert a heavy blow on relevant US industries.

It shows that the ongoing trade friction between the two countries has begun to hurt people-to-people exchanges in the two countries, Bai said.

An employee from a Shanghai-based travel agency, who asked for anonymity, told the Global Times that summer is the peak time for Chinese to travel to the US, but this year, more people have been consulting about safety and tightened visa policies in the US. Also, the number of tourists applying for US visas via their platform had also dropped drastically during this period of time.

Strong measures

Nanjing customs seize ‘smart pills’

Customs authorities of East China’s Jiangsu Province recently seized 1,000 state-controlled psychotropic pills from India, which were widely taken by examinees as “smart pills,” especially those who are going to take the national college entrance examination on Friday.

Customs officers in Jinling district, Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu, recently seized 500 Ritalin and 500 Amodafinil pills in the mail from India, the General Administration of Customs announced on its WeChat account on Monday.

The pills are prescription drugs used for sleep disorders. They are widely considered as “smart pills” by examinees that can increase cognitive competence and attention and boost academic achievements in a short time.

The customs administration warned that healthy people will not actually become smarter after taking the pills. They will probably suffer from several side effects, including headache, nausea, insomnia and memory loss. Long-term use of the pills can even caused addiction.

“Do not trust rumors of ‘smart pills’ on the internet. And be sure not to illegally mail psychotropic pills in and out of the country,” said the administration, noting that patients whose pills have been seized can take the pills back by providing a prescription.

The announcement came amid reports on social media that many parents are buying “smart pills” for their children as the national college entrance examination approaches. Some illegal dealers even said there was a storage shortage, media reported.

A Global Times reporter previously reached a dealer surnamed Liu. Liu said the drugs he sold were smuggled from the US, Pakistan and Switzerland. US Ritalin is sold at 1,400 yuan ($209) for 50 pills; Pakistani Ritalin goes for 390 yuan for 30 and Swiss Ritalin 460 yuan for 20.

A growing number of overseas purchasing agencies have made it more difficult to crack down on smuggled drugs, Hua Zhendong, technical director of the China National Narcotics Control Commission’s national narcotics laboratory, told the Global Times on Tuesday.

The main ingredient in the “smart pills” is methylphenidate, a central nervous system stimulant that is a strictly managed psychotropic medication both in China and abroad.

Methylphenidate is a mild central stimulant compared with methamphetamine, but is still addictive, Hua said while noting that long-term use of the drug can cause anxiety and manic depression.

In China, stimulants like Ritalin can only be prescribed by hospitals to children under 14 years old and diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, media reported.

China’s logistics services need to follow its manufacturing to expand overseasUS logistics giant FedEx, one of the world’s top delivery brands, has surprisingly – and repeatedly – mishandled Huawei’s packages. Regardless of whether there were any long-armed instructions behind the scenes, the incident should serve as an alarm bell to global companies about the safety of international delivery services.

Courier services are different from other logistics services. If core technical documentation, business tenders and other business intelligence are stolen or damaged during delivery, it may cause irretrievable losses. As such, express delivery companies generally attach great importance to credibility, with emphasis on safeguarding customers’ packages and information security. It would be shameless of a government to use state power to “hijack” corporate mail. Logistics is a basic link in the supply chain. Huawei may be able to switch to self-made chips after being cut off from US chips, but if something goes wrong with Huawei’s logistics, will it have any contingency plan?

At present, the international supply chain of consumer electronics products requires fast logistics like air delivery, but about 70 percent of the international delivery market in China is spread among the three major giants – FedEx, UPS, and DHL -with domestic courier companies like SF Express only accounting for a small share of China’s international logistics market due to a lack of overseas service networks and air transport capacity. China’s largest express delivery company SF Express has only 55 cargo aircraft, while FedEx, the world’s largest, has a fleet of 680, and UPS has more than 500.

Manufacturing is the soil that gives rise to the logistics industry, and the logistics industry is the guarantee for a strong manufacturing sector. However, during the past four decades, China’s industrial development has been characterized by structural problems of valuing production over circulation and valuing manufacturing over service, leading to the country’s relatively weak, small and scattered circulation services. Unlike Chinese manufacturers, most logistics companies are unable to tap the global market. China has maintained service trade deficits for 26 years, with transport and logistics being the industry with the second-largest deficit after tourism. Of course, a similar industrial imbalance also exists in other latecomer countries like India and Vietnam.

Without the guarantee of modern logistics, it is difficult for China’s manufacturing industry to move up the global value chain. In order to promote the joint development of the manufacturing and logistics industries, the National Development and Reform Commission in 2007 held the first joint development conference for the two industries. Yet the links between the two industries happen more at the domestic level, with little interactive development in going global. FedEx and UPS have worked with US tech giants like Microsoft and Google to explore the global market, thus staying strong together. By comparison, although China has well-known technology companies such as Huawei, ZTE, and DJI, it lacks the synergy effect from local logistics companies in terms of high-end logistics guarantees.

It is true that China’s manufacturers should adhere to the values of openness and inclusiveness instead of narrowly advocating that Chinese cargo be transported by Chinese companies, but they should also guard against possible harm from others. When it comes to the logistics of core technological documentation, information security, and strategic materials, Chinese logistics services should be the top choice. In the US, the first modern express delivery service was founded in 1839. It will take time for Chinese logistics services to play catch-up, and they should not be alone in doing it.

Overseas collaboration between Chinese manufacturers and logistics services should first be reflected by strengthened cooperation in supply and demand as well as the supply chain. China is the largest buyer of international express logistics services, and its big market should give it a bigger voice in the industry. With more outsourcing orders from Chinese manufacturers, Chinese logistics companies will have more opportunities to grow. The two sides can build overseas warehouses together so as to enhance the synergy effect in the international supply chain. Meanwhile, the collaboration between Chinese manufacturers and logistics services could also strengthen security guarantees and emergency logistics support in overseas markets. China’s private technology companies and express delivery companies have mostly grown up in a peaceful environment, with insufficient experience in crisis response. UPS, which was founded in 1907, has experienced World War I and World War II, while FedEx founder Frederick Smith participated in the Vietnam War. The advanced security systems and emergency logistics response of US companies offer lessons for Chinese companies.

China-US relations seek inspiration from the past

The year 2019 is special for China-US ties. On January 1, 1979, China and the US established formal diplomatic ties.

There is an old saying in China that “at 40, one should be no longer confused”. It means at 40, we can figure out many things. However, as US-China relations enter the 40th year, it seems far from being “no longer confused”. Over the past year, bilateral relations have seen crests and troughs. The trade war was like a raging fire. Voices like “decouple”, “new Cold War”, “Thucydides Trap” have become shriller. Both countries are facing a tough moment. Once again, Beijing and Washington need to determine the direction of their bilateral ties.

“Consider the past and you shall know the future” goes another saying in China. Reviewing the past helps us know the future. Looking back at the 40 years’ of China-US relationship, although bilateral ties have been choppy, there has been historic progress.

Forty years ago, the number of visits between the two states was only several thousand annually, but in 2017 it exceeded 5.3 million. Four decades ago, the bilateral trade volume stood at less than $2.5 billion. However, in 2017, it hit over $580 billion. Investment between the two nations increased from nearly zero in 1979 to over $230 billion in 2017. Over the 40 years, Beijing and Washington have cooperated bilaterally, regionally and internationally from solving regional issues to fighting terrorism, from dealing with international financial crisis to promoting global economic issues.

Over time, bilateral relations have also seen setbacks. There have been four incidents that have affected ties over decades. The first one took place between 1989 and 1991, when the US slapped sanctions on China, including the suspension of high-level contact and military communication between the two states. Afterwards, more than 20 nations followed the US to crack down on China. Hence, bilateral relations dropped to the lowest point since 1972. The crisis across the Taiwan Straits from 1995 to 1996 was the second one. In May 1995, the US government approved then Taiwan leader Lee Teng-hui’s visit to Cornell University in the US. To counter Taiwan independence forces, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) launched military exercises and missile tests near Taiwan waters in July and August 1995 and March 1996. During the second exercise, Washington warships USS Independence and USS Nimitz sailed into Taiwan Straits. The third crisis was a missile attack on the Chinese embassy in Yugoslavia by US-led NATO on May 7, 1999, triggering the Chinese people’s fury. China-US aircraft collision in 2001 was the fourth one in which a US Navy EP-3 reconnaissance plane and a PLA Navy F-8 fighter collided killing Chinese pilot Wang Wei. The US plane landed at Lingshui airport on Hainan Island without China’s permission.

The four incidents had a huge impact on bilateral ties, bringing them to a tearing point. However, these crises prompted leaders of both countries to invest plenty of time and energy to address these issues by ramping up communication between the two governments and enhancing mutual understanding, restoring normalcy in ties.

Experience can offer lessons for fluctuating China-US relations.

First, both countries need to seek mutual interest. Positive China-US ties began with common geopolitical requirements. After the Cold War, both nations agreed to strengthen economic and trade cooperation as globalization dawned. Although the two countries are involved in a trade dispute, there is still room to expand economic and trade ties. There is much more to China-US ties than the trade dispute. Additionally, the two have consistently sought common interest in preventing the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction, dealing with financial crises and climate change. These have contributed to the development of relations.

Second, as ties are complicated and so are domestic realities, the heads of the two states should play a leading role in dealing with relations.

Third, the two governments are supposed to explore institutional links. China and the US are two great powers with diverse social systems, ideologies, cultures and traditions. It is normal that conflicts and problems between the two exist. The key is how to manage them, so that they do not hurt relations. Effective communication between the two governments is one way of coping with it.

Finally, social communication between the countries should be expanded.

Crises lead to erosion of Washington-Beijing ties, while tackling them not only controls them, but also enables both sides to become more familiar with each other and more aware of the intentions of both sides. With competitive relations, crises and controlling them may be a common course bilateral ties take. Therefore, we need to prepare mentally for such eventualities.

Chinese scientists find 5 million tons of lithium deposits in Yunnan

Chinese scientists have found a major lithium deposit in Southwest China’s Yunnan Province, estimated to contain more than 5 million tons.

There are approximately 40 million tons of proven lithium reserves in the world, the Xinhua News Agency’s Globe magazine reported.

A team led by research fellow Wen Hanjie from the Institute of Geochemistry under the Chinese Academy of Sciences found 340,000 tons of lithium oxide in a test site in central Yunnan.

They estimated the total amount of lithium to be in excess of 5 million tons. The lithium discovered is a new type in carbonate formation, the institute said on its website on Monday.

Lithium, a chemical element mainly contained in brines, pegmatite and clay, is viewed by some analysts as one of the most valuable metals in the first half of the 21st century.

The increasing reliance of the high-tech industry on lithium makes it an essential strategic resource for industrialized countries, analysts said.

The prices of lithium carbonate increased from less than 50,000 yuan ($7,236) per ton in October 2015 to 80,000 yuan per ton by the end of 2018. The value of the global lithium market is expected to rise from $60 trillion in 2017 to $100 trillion in 2025, the Globe magazine reported.

About 80 percent of lithium used in China from 2011 to 2015 was imported, Xinhua reported. The Institute of Geochemistry said on its website that it is urgently necessary for China to find new sources of lithium, as the country has abundant carbonate clay resources.

Russia-China trade, technological cooperation enjoys sound momentum: minister

There will be a rosy future for trade and technological cooperation between Russia and China, Russian Industry and Trade Minister Denis Manturov has said.

In the face of global market volatility and rising protectionism, one of the most important tasks for Russia and China is to increase the stability of their trade and economic relations, Manturov told Xinhua in a recent interview.

China remained Russia’s top trading partner and their two-way trade hit a record high of over 100 billion U.S. dollars in 2018, he said.

Bilateral trade continued to grow in the first quarter of this year, he said, expecting further growth in Russian exports of agricultural products and foodstuffs to China.

The industrial and technological cooperation is multifaceted and the partnership in civil aviation, including the joint development of the wide-body long-haul airliner CR929, is an important aspect, said Manturov.

The CR929 program is at the design stage, when the main tasks are to select suppliers of systems and equipment and conclude agreements of intent with them, he said, adding that the prospective airliner will be “absolutely competitive” in the global market.

In addition to civil aviation, Manturov also sees “considerable prospects” in expanding partnership in the fields of medicine development and production, robotics as well as radio electronics.

There is still potential for cooperation in such traditional sectors as agriculture, food industry, timber industry, engineering, consumer goods production, metal, and construction materials, he added.

“It should be noted that the comprehensive development of strategic cooperation between Russia and China corresponds to the interests of both countries,” Manturov said.