Chinese President Hu Jintao left Beijing on Thursday morning for a state visit to two major neighboring countries and participation in two significant summit meetings.
Hu will visit Russia and Kazakhstan, attend a summit of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in the Kazak capital of Astana, and attend a G8 (Group of Eight) plus five summit in Britain.
Hu's entourage included his wife Liu Yongqing, State Councilor Tang Jiaxuan, Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing, Minister in charge of State Development and Planning Commission Ma Kai, and Minister of Commerce Bo Xilai.
In Russia, Hu will hold talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin and also meet with Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Fradkov and leaders of the Federal Assembly of Russian Federation, said Li Hui, assistant foreign minister of China, at a press briefing on Tuesday.
Hu will also visit the Novosibirsk region and discuss with local leaders about regional cooperation.
Hu's Russia visit aims at deepening political mutual trust, enhancing strategic coordination, promoting substantial cooperation and expanding regional and personnel exchanges and cooperation between the two countries, Li said.
After Russia, Hu will pay his second state visit to Kazakhstan as president and attend the SCO summit there. The summit, which involves leaders of SCO member countries -- China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, will focus on cooperation in economy, security, culture, external relations and international issues, Li said.
The G8 Summit Outreach Session, between the G8 and China, India, Brazil, South Africa and Mexico, will focus on issues like world economy and climate change. On the sidelines of the meeting, Hu will meet leaders of the G8 countries and other major developing countries.
The G8 comprises the world's seven leading industrial powers -- Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan and the United States -- plus Russia.
Hu attended a meeting between the G8 and major developing countries in June 2003, along with leaders of India and Brazil at the 29th G8 summit in France.