Hu’s Visit to Tatarstan Underscores Russian Republic’s Unique Importance

Hu’s Visit to Tatarstan Underscores Russian Republic’s Unique Importance

On the whole, Chinese President Hu Jintao's March 26-28 meeting in Moscow with Russian President Vladimir Putin was uneventful. As during past summits, the two leaders signed various commercial deals, issued joint declarations affirming Sino-Russian cooperation on diverse global issues, and attended high-profile cultural events.

Much more noteworthy was Hu's subsequent side trip to the Russian republic of Tatarstan on his way back to Beijing. During his March 28 sojourn, Hu met the republic's leading industrial officials, visited a trade exhibition in the capital city of Kazan, and engaged in discussions with representatives from the republic's major oil producer, Tatneft, as well as local ship and aircraft manufacturers. The Chinese automobile manufacturer, Great Wall, will start producing cars at a plant in the Tatarstan town of Elabuga later this year for the Russian and European markets.

One of the main reasons for the Chinese government's interest in cultivating relations with Tatarstan is the republic's oil and mineral wealth. According to industry estimates, Tatarstan has almost one billion tons of oil deposits. Tatneft annually produces 24 million tons of oil, making it Russia's fifth-largest oil company, with almost 8 percent of total national output. Tatarstan also has gypsum, natural gas, and other natural resources as well as a major automobile and petrochemicals industry. In addition, major railway lines, highways, and energy pipelines pass through the republic, which is located in Russia's industrial heartland and accounts for 2.8 percent of Russia's total GDP.

Keep reading for free!

Get instant access to the rest of this article by submitting your email address below. You'll also get access to three articles of your choice each month and our free newsletter:

Or, Subscribe now to get full access.

Already a subscriber? Log in here .

What you’ll get with an All-Access subscription to World Politics Review:

A WPR subscription is like no other resource — it’s like having a personal curator and expert analyst of global affairs news. Subscribe now, and you’ll get:

  • Immediate and instant access to the full searchable library of tens of thousands of articles.
  • Daily articles with original analysis, written by leading topic experts, delivered to you every weekday.
  • Regular in-depth articles with deep dives into important issues and countries.
  • The Daily Review email, with our take on the day’s most important news, the latest WPR analysis, what’s on our radar, and more.
  • The Weekly Review email, with quick summaries of the week’s most important coverage, and what’s to come.
  • Completely ad-free reading.

And all of this is available to you when you subscribe today.