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Thursday, June 14, 2001, updated at 18:16(GMT+8)

Chinese, Russian Presidents Meet, Friendship Treaty to Be Signed

President Jiang Zemin Meets Russian President Vladimir Putin
President Jiang Zemin met Thursday in Shanghai with Russian President Vladimir Putin, who arrived here for the sixth "Shanghai Five" summit.

The two leaders exchanged opinions concerning Sino-Russian relations and major issues of common concern in a sincere and friendly atmosphere.

Jiang expressed his welcome to Putin's visit to Shanghai during the meeting.

Noting that the two presidents, together with the presidents of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, will upgrade the "Shanghai Five" mechanism to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) Friday, Jiang said that "this will have great importance to the development of our bilateral relations, the maintenance of regional security and stability and the promotion of multi-polarization of the world."

Putin thanked Jiang for inviting him to the summit. He noted that the "Shanghai Five" process has been developing smoothly.

"Now that we have got a new direction of development, and will have new member joining, this will surely further expand cooperation among the member states," Putin said.

The two leaders expressed their satisfaction over the development of the bilateral ties. Putin said that there is now a trend for more active and rapidly growing bilateral ties between the two countries, and that the two countries could do more things in many fields.

Putin expressed his welcome to Jiang's important state visit to Russia in July this year.

Noting that this is the first meeting of the two leaders this year, Jiang said he is very glad that they will have several chances this year to meet and discuss major issues of common concern.

Jiang described the sound working relations between the two countries and personal friendship between the two leaders as offering an important guarantee to the steady development of the Sino-Russian relations.

The Chinese president said he is looking forward to the state visit to Russia next month, when the two leaders will sign a pact on Sino-Russian good-neighborly friendship and cooperation.

The pact will function as a legal document guiding the development of the Sino-Russian relations in the new century and will have a deep and far-reaching impact on the steady development of the bilateral ties in the long run, Jiang said.

Putin reiterated Russia's principle and stance on the missile defense issue. Jiang expressed the view that China will continue to support Russia's efforts in maintaining global strategic stability. The two sides agree to keep a close contact on the issue.

The two leaders also exchanged their views of points on other global and regional issues of common concern.

Friendship Treaty to Be Signed

President Jiang Zemin will travel to Russia next month to sign the Sino-Russian friendship treaty, it was disclosed in Shanghai during a meeting between Jiang and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin Thursday afternoon.

The long-awaited China-Russia Good Neighborly Friendship Cooperation Treaty will serve as an important legal document guiding the development of future bilateral relations, the two presidents agreed.

During the meeting, President Putin reiterated Russia's principled stance on the anti-ballastic missile issue. Chinese President Jiang Zemin pledged China will continue to support Russian efforts in maintaining global strategic stability, and the two presidents agreed to keep close contact on this issue.

Both Russia and China oppose to US plan to deploy the national missile defense system and theater missile defense system, saying that the 1972 Anti-ballistic Missile Treaty is the cornerstone in maintaining world peace, stability and world strategic balance.

Putin arrived in Shanghai Thursday morning to attend the sixth summit of the Shanghai Five, a meeting mechanism established in 1996 by China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikstan.

During this year summit meetings on Thursday and Friday, presidents of Kazakhstan, China, Kyrgyzstan, Russia Tajikstan and Uzbekstan will declare the founding of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, a regional multilateral cooperation body, to replace the Shanghai Five.

first of three this year

Just days before Putin is to meet US President George W. Bush in Slovenia, the Chinese and Russian leaders were expected to show a united front against US plans to build a national missile defence (NMD) system, according to a Reuter report.

Shanghai threw a tight security net for the meeting of the Shanghai Five -- China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan -- only revealing the summit venue to reporters late on Wednesday.

The group, set up in 1996 to resolve Sino-Soviet border disputes, was expected to admit a new member, Uzbekistan, and to sign an agreement boosting cross-border cooperation between them.

Security is of paramount importance at the summit, which is seen as a test of Shanghai's ability to hold a larger international event, the upcoming informal summit meeting of the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) in October. US President Bush will join the summit.

"This is a meeting of heads of state, so security must be very tight," said a city official. "This is quite normal."

Reporters are required to go through security checks before every meeting and are whisked by bus to and from the venues through streets cordoned off for the summit.

Jiang's meeting with Putin is the first of three planned for this year.

Shanghai Five members are expected to sign two documents at the summit, one establishing the grouping as a "multilateral regional organisation", and another on boosting cross-border cooperation.

In This Section

President Jiang Zemin met Thursday in Shanghai with Russian President Vladimir Putin and the two leaders exchanged opinions concerning Sino-Russian relations and major issues of common concern in a sincere and friendly atmosphere.

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