Dec. 27, 2017 -- China and countries of Eurasia strengthened cooperation across various fields in 2017, opening opportunities of economic development for the whole region.
Earlier this month, the Yamal liquefied natural gas (LNG) project in the Arctic jointly launched by China and Russia began operation. Russian President Vladimir Putin pressed the button to start the loading of the first gas tanker.
The project is expected to have three production lines by 2019 with a total capacity of 16.5 million tons of LNG every year. Russia's share in the global LNG market will rise from about four percent to more than eight percent.
Chinese enterprises invested heavily in the Yamal project and will operate 14 of the total 15 LNG tankers.
The megaproject marked a milestone in China-Russia cooperation under the Belt and Road Initiative proposed by Chinese President Xi Jinping in 2013.
The initiative comprises the Silk Road Economic Belt and the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road, and aims to build trade and infrastructure networks connecting Asia with Europe and Africa on and beyond the ancient Silk Road routes.
The Yamal LNG will be shipped to Asia in the summer through an efficient Arctic shipping route along Russia's northern coast, which China and Russia aim to build into a "silk road on ice."
Trade and investment remained solid in 2017. Chinese direct investment in Russia grew 34.1 percent in the first three quarters this year, according to the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.
Russian courier Maria Rubtsova became popular among Chinese netizens during the Nov. 11 "Singles' Day" shopping spree this year, after a picture showing her delivering parcels on a horse went viral on the Internet.
Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba said about 22 million Russian people, roughly one sixth of the country's total population, use its outbound platform AliExpress to make purchases online.