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Slim pickings so far from closer Sino-Russian ties

Economic gains from planned regional links may be many years away

| China
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Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, shakes hands with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping after making a statement following their talks at the Kremlin in Moscow on July 14.   © Reuters

During President Xi Jinping's sixth official visit to Russia in July -- his third this year -- he reaffirmed the special friendship between the two countries. Russian President Vladimir Putin's foreign affairs adviser, Yuri Ushakov, portrayed Russia-China relations as "the best in history."

Xi also reiterated the Chinese government's commitment to the integration of the Russia-led Eurasian Economic Union and China's flagship Belt and Road Initiative -- a proposal unveiled in May 2015.

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