Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov recently met with Chinese Premier Hu Jintao in Beijing, where the two pledged to increase trade and strategic cooperation. In an email interview, Florent Parmentier, an academic adviser and lecturer at Sciences Po, discussed China-Ukraine relations.
WPR: What is the extent of diplomatic and trade relations between China and Ukraine?
Florent Parmentier: Ukraine's interest in China is relatively new, and vice versa: The boom in trade dates back only to 2008. Yulia Tymoshenko, then prime minister of Ukraine, was the first to develop connections with Chinese leaders and notably met with Chinese Vice Premier Zhang Dejiang in October 2009. Zhang went back to Ukraine in April to meet with Ukrainian President Viktor Yanukovych in order to expand the emerging cooperation. In terms of institutions, an intergovernmental cooperation commission was established during that visit.