China, ahead of Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's visit, has hailed the trip as a sign of the "ever-deepening" bilateral cooperation.Even before Tuesday's start of Putin's two-day China visit, the two countries concluded 16 economic and trade cooperation deals worth more than $7 billion in new energy, mining, machinery, vehicle, electronics and agricultural sectors.Putin's trip comes just days after he announced plans to reclaim Russia's presidency. His China visit "will mark ever-deepening China-Russia cooperation that is sure to help build a more balanced world," the official Chinese news agency Xinhua said."As permanent members of the U.N. Security Council playing major roles in world affairs, the two nations stood together from time to time to uphold the principle of noninterference in the internal affairs of a sovereign nation and jointly thwarted several such attempts," the article said, noting their recent joint rejection of the U.N. draft resolution on Syria.The article said while the major economies are mired in financial crisis, "China and Russia have distinguished themselves by achieving rapid economic recovery … ."While Putin's visit is designed to produce a number of economic and trade agreements, RIA Novosti reported the long-anticipated natural gas deal with Beijing will not be on the agenda, quoting Putin's deputy chief of staff Yuri Ushakov.The gas deal, in which pricing remains to be settled, calls for Russia to provide natural gas from its Siberian reserves to China's energy-hungry markets. The deal could be worth as much as $700 billion over 30 years.The China National Petroleum Corp. had offered to pay $235 for each thousand cubic meters of the Russian gas, but Russia's OAO Gazprom had been seeking $350.With bilateral trade increasing, Putin last month had been quoted as saying the volume could reach $70 billion this year, $100 billion in 2015, $200 billion by 2020.Sergei Luzyanin with the Far East Institute of the Russian Academy of Science, told Xinhua in a recent interview Putin's visit would first of all enhance the two nations' interaction in world issues."They would discuss global issues, including the situation in the Middle East. Moscow and Beijing have a similar approach to the situation in Syria," Luzyanin said. "They secured the stabilization there by vetoing U.N. resolutions on Syria and preventing NATO from intervening."The two countries also have developed important interactions within BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa).