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    Putin's China Visit Marks Major Russia-China Trade Boost

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    On Wednesday, Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin wrapped up his two-day visit to China. While there, he made billions of dollars worth of trade deals--and made some political statements as well.

    Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin has wrapped up the last day of his brief trip to Beijing, after meetings with some of the Chinese regime's top figures. These included Communist Party leader Hu Jintao, Premier Wen Jiabao, and head of the National People's Congress, Wu Bangguo.

    Putin expressed hope his two-day visit would broaden trade with China, which he expects to grow to $200 billion US dollars by 2020. That would mean an over 300% increase from current figures.

    Key to this growing trade relationship is a vast gas export deal, which the two countries have been haggling over for five years. It would see Russia, one of the world's great energy exporters, providing huge quantities of gas to energy-hungry China.

    So far, the devil has been in the details, with no agreement over many specific parts of the plan. But, at least according to Putin, the two sides are closer than ever to inking that deal.

    His visit also saw $7 billion dollars worth of other deals in various sectors, including biotechnology and space exploration. All of this relationship strengthening comes as Russia and China seem to increasingly have much in common politically, as well.

    The countries joined forces last week to veto a UN Security Council resolution condemning Syria for its bloody crackdown on protesters. Critics of both governments allege that they also marginalize civil rights and democracy internally.

    While in China, Putin was also quoted as saying that "the US dollar's monopoly is a parasite"--a possible statement of support for Chinese authorities, in their economic wranglings with the United States over currency issues.