Chinese President Hu Jintao is scheduled to start his four-day state visit to Russia on Thursday with an aim to further boost bilateral relations.
Sino-Russian relations have maintained a good momentum of growth in the past several years, with mutual political trust deepening and economic cooperation improving.
Significant efforts have been made to strengthen bilateral ties this year, including the ratification of an additional agreement on the eastern part of Sino-Russian border by respective parliaments, the launching of a consultation mechanism on national security and the reaching of an agreement on further boosting cooperation in energy and investment between the two countries.
As Chinese and Russian leaders have pointed out, bilateral relations are at their best in history.
First, the heads of state of China and Russia hold annual talks, meet each other at least three times a year including on such occasions as the Economic Leaders' Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit.
In 2001, then Chinese President Jiang Zemin and Russian President Vladimir Putin signed the Sino-Russian Good-neighborly Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation. In May, 2003, Chinese President Hu Jintao and Putin signed a joint statement in Moscow, ushering in a new era of development in the China-Russia strategic partnership of cooperation.
In May this year, at Putin's invitation, President Hu attended celebrations in Moscow marking the 60th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany. During their meeting, the two leaders exchanged views on bilateral relations and pressing international and regional issues, and reached broad consensus.
Less than two months after the Moscow celebrations, President Hu is scheduled to visit Russia again starting Thursday to promote the development of bilateral relations, the first time a Chinese president visits Russia twice a year.
This, analysts say, demonstrates that the bilateral relationship, which hinges on a reliable legal basis and an effective mechanism of close consultations, has reached a high level.
Secondly, the political trust of the two countries has deepened, bringing good prospects of international strategic cooperation. As major powers in the world and permanent members of the United Nations Security Council, China and Russia share the same or similar positions on many international and regional issues.
Both heads of state believe that in face of the complicated international situation, boosting the strategic partnership of cooperation between the two countries is important to safeguarding their common interests and promoting common prosperity. Their strengthened cooperation not only benefits both countries, but also is conducive to safeguarding world peace, security and development.
Both countries extend to each other mutual support in major issues concerning national sovereignty, territorial integrity and security. Russia always supports China on issues like Taiwan, Tibet and human rights, while China firmly backs Russia's fight against terrorism in Chechnya.
Thirdly, the booming economic and trade cooperation between Russia and China has become an important basis and driving force for bilateral relations. Trade between the two sides last year reached 21.2 billion US dollars, a year-on-year increase of 34.7 percent. In the first four months of this year, bilateral trade kept an upward trend, registering a year-on-year growth of 25.9 percent to 7.8 billion dollars.
At the second China-Russia conference on investment promotion, held this month in St. Petersburg, the two sides signed seven accords with a total investment of 1.5 billion dollars.
Both countries face the same historical task of promoting economic development and rejuvenating their nations, and are complementary in their economies. Leaders of the two countries have decided to boost their bilateral trade volume to 60 to 80 billion dollars by 2010.
The two countries have also reached consensus on improving investment structures, promoting cooperation on large-scale projects and innovating modes of cooperation.
Fourthly, exchanges between the two militaries have also been strengthened. In this fall, the two countries will hold a joint military exercise, the first large-scale drill between the two sides since 1958.
The two countries have also deepened their exchanges and cooperation in such fields as culture, education, science and technology, public health, sports and tourism.
In 2006, China will host the Year of Russia, while Russia will host the Year of China in the following year to consolidate and expand the social foundation of bilateral relations.
During President Hu's upcoming visit to Russia, the two heads of state will discuss how to strengthen bilateral strategic and pragmatic cooperation and are expected to sign a series of documents on bilateral cooperation.
Analysts believe the coming meeting between President Hu and Putin will give an important impetus to the further development of the Sino-Russian strategic partnership of cooperation.