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UPDATED: 09:09, December 21, 2005
Substantive progress made in 2005 Russia-China ties: Ambassador
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Russia-China relations have seen comprehensive and substantive progress in 2005, Russian Ambassador to China Sergey Razov said in Beijing Tuesday.

Razov told a press conference that the political relationship between the two countries has moved forward smoothly.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Hu Jintao met with each other for four times within a single year.The tenth regular meeting of the two prime ministers of Russia and China was held in Beijing. Frequent high-level mutual visits were conducted between the the top legislatures of the two countries.

"The high-level mutual visits between the two sides have enhanced the personal friendship, mutual trust and understanding between the top leaders of the two countries," said Razov.

The ambassador noted that the kick-off of bilateral talks on strategic security is a shining component of the overall substantive achievement. The talks offer both countries a channel to address issues concerning world and regional security.

Cooperation has been developing rapidly in the areas of economics and trade, Razov said, acknowledging that the bilateral trade volume is expected to total 29 billion U.S. dollars by the end of this year, up by 33 percent over 2004. China is likely to become the second largest trading partner to Russia.

China and Russia share a 4,300-km-long border. During talks in Vladivostok in June this year, Chinese Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing and his Russian counterpart, Sergei Lavrov, exchanged ratification documents over the eastern border, putting an end to 40 years of negotiation.

"This is a historic achievement," Razov told the press. The field demarcation work will be finished in next two to three years, he said.

The sound cooperation between the two militaries also bore witness of a deeper Russia-China relationship. In August 2005,

the two armed forces launched their first-ever joint military drill.

"The joint military exercise demonstrates the determination and confidence of the two partners to safeguard the peace and stability of the region and the world at large," the ambassador said.

Razov said that at the same time, Russia and China have further strengthened their coordination on international and regional topics, such as the United Nations reform and the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue. The two also cooperated with each other closely and effectively within the framework of Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO).

Meanwhile, fruits were also obtained in personnel entry management, science and technology and culture. "In a word, the bilateral ties are in very good shape," Razov said.

The Russia Year in China scheduled for 2006 and the China Year in Russia for 2007 were declared in a joint statement during President Putin's visit to China last year. The two goodwill programs will cover a wide spectrum of areas including culture, education, economy, political systems and traditional customs.

Razov said Russia has offered China a report on the detailed arrangements of the upcoming Russia Year, including more than 250 programs, such as a cultural festival, an exhibition and a ceremony marking the anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties.

Razov said that in 2007, relevant activities concerning Chinese culture will also be held in Russia. More and more Russian people now are increasingly interested in Chinese culture and work hard to learn Chinese language, which is regarded as an essential tool to find a good job for Russian people nowadays.

"The large-scale cultural exchanges between Russia and China will be conducive for the people of both countries to increase mutual understanding and would make an important contribution to the further growth of Russia-China relations," the ambassador said.

According to the ambassador, President Putin will visit China in March next year. The two heads of states will attend the opening ceremony of the Russia Year in China, and will hold talks on bilateral relations and a wide range of issues. President Putin will also attend the SCO Summit in Shanghai next June.

"I hope that Russia-China relations will continue enjoying stable development, in a bid to benefit the people of both countries," Razov said.

Source: Xinhua

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