The meeting between Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Ukrainian counterpart Petro Poroshenko in Davos, Switzerland, opened a new chapter in relations between China and Ukraine, local experts said on Tuesday.[Special coverage]
Viktor Kiktenko, the head of Ukrainian Association of Sinologists, told Xinhua in an interview that the meeting between the two leaders, which took place ahead of the opening session of the 47th World Economic Forum, signaled that the two countries stand ready to deepen their traditional friendship and cement political trust.
"Over the past several years, after the shift of power in Ukraine, many experts have repeatedly stated that it is very important for the Sino-Ukrainian relations to revive the political dialogue at the highest level. That's why this meeting is vitally important in terms of political decisions," Kiktenko said.
The talks,at which the two leaders have agreed to strengthen exchanges between governments, could lay a solid groundwork for the high-level visits between the states, the expert added.
"I believe this meeting is a preparation for the next, more important step -- for an official visit. Most likely, it will be a visit of Ukrainian president to China. I personally and many Ukrainian experts hope that such visit would take place this year," Kiktenko said.
The expert has also underscored the importance of the meeting for strengthening economic partnership between China and Ukraine.
"It is important not only for politics but also for business. Holding the meeting between the two leaders at the highest level would be a signal for the business community that the Ukrainian-Chinese business relations should further develop, should receive a new impetus," he emphasized.
Commenting on Poroshenko's remarks that Ukraine is willing to actively participate in One Belt and One Road Initiative aiming to fully tap cooperation potential with China, Kiktenko highly welcomed the intention.
"It is only the first step, but it is highly remarkable that Ukraine joins this initiative. Yet, a long road lies ahead to fully unlock the complementary advantages of the both economies under this initiative," he said.
Kiktenko was echoed by another Ukrainian international relations expert Denis Necheporuk, who noted that the talks between Xi and Poroshenko have mapped out the direction of further economic cooperation between the two countries.
"We hope that serious negotiations between the two countries will be carried out in 2017-2018 on the intensification of their investment and economic processes," said Necheporuk, who is the head of the non-government organization "Union of Ukraine-China Friendship and Cooperation".
He also praised China's stance on the settling the Ukrainian crisis based on the traditional principles of non-interference and resolution of the disputes through dialogue and negotiations.
"This meeting showed that China plays a constructive and diplomatic role in the settlement. Stressing the need for a peaceful resolution of international issues, the authorities of the People's Republic of China are cementing the position of China as a responsible global leader," Necheporuk emphasized.