Chinese President Hu Jintao on Tuesday sent condolences to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin over the death of former Russian President Boris Yeltsin.
In a message to Putin, Hu expressed his deep condolences and extended his sincere sympathies to Putin, the Russian government and people and Yeltsin's family.
Describing Yeltsin as a close friend of China, Hu said the traditional friendship between China and Russia displayed new vitality during Yeltsin's presidency.
While Yeltsin was Russian president, the two countries established a strategic cooperative partnership, resolved their border issues left over from history and enjoyed rapid progress in bilateral exchanges and cooperation in various fields, Hu said.
The outstanding contributions Yeltsin made to the development of the Sino-Russian friendship will go down in the annals of the friendly relations between the two countries, Hu said.
Yeltsin, who became Russia's first elected president in 1991 and transferred power to Putin on Dec. 31, 1999, died on Monday at the age of 76.