Presidents Putin and Xi Launch Construction of Four Nuclear Plants in China

On May 19, Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping participated in a videoconference hookup to launch the beginning of construction of four new nuclear plants in China, based on Russian technology. These are two units each at the Tianwan nuclear power plant in the city of Lianyungang, and at the Xudapu nuclear plant in Huludao district in northeastern China.

The two Presidents used the occasion to underscore the growing bilateral cooperation, and its global focus on the role of innovation and scientific and technological cooperation in achieving development. As Vladimir Putin stressed, “Russia-China relations have reached their highest level in history.”

Xi Jinping reiterated that the two countries had agreed “to make a sizable intellectual contribution to the innovation-driven development of the global nuclear sphere.” The Chinese president asserted that “our countries have been providing each other with solid support and have been engaged in close and effective cooperation” in many areas, and that “energy has always been the biggest and most successful branch in our practical cooperation while nuclear energy cooperation has been its strategic priority. We are jointly upgrading our cooperation in this area and have already put into operation a host of major projects.”

Vladimir Putin, in response, emphasized that “Russian and Chinese specialists are working on this flagship joint project which is truly a milestone. They are building powerful, modern Russian-designed nuclear reactors that meet all safety and environmental standards. It is planned that they will start operating as soon as in 2026–2028, which, as President Xi just said, will be a solid contribution to China’s energy security.” The Russian leader recalled that it was during his state visit to China in June 2018, that he and Xi determined the main areas of a genuinely close partnership, including the cooperation on nuclear technology.

In addition to the four new units at the Tianwan and Xudapu nuclear power plants, many other large Russian-Chinese initiatives are being implemented. One of them, Putin pointed out, is for an experimental fast neutron reactor built in China with Russia’s participation. Moreover, Russia had supplied China with radionuclide thermal blocks for the Chang’e 4 spacecraft – the first in history to land on the far side of the Moon in 2019.

The Russian president noted that, in addition to nuclear power, the two countries plan to develop an “innovative partnership” in “the implementation of low-carbon and other technologies.”

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