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Relations with Russia to be strengthened
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08:16, November 06, 2007

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Premier Wen Jiabao and Russian President Vladimir Putin have sought to consolidate their strategic partnership through better coordination in global affairs and more pragmatic economic cooperation.

Wen met Putin in the Kremlin yesterday and more than 10 cooperative agreements are likely to be signed during the premier's two-day official visit to Russia.

Putin congratulated China for holding the 17th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) and extended greetings to President Hu Jintao. The CPC congress has devised a grand plan for China's development, he said, and its implementation will boost Sino-Russian ties.

That Wen is in Moscow for the closing ceremony of the "Year of China" in Russia and President Hu was here for the opening ceremony shows how much China values its relations with Russia, Putin said.

He thanked China for its efforts to rescue six Russians who went missing in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region in September. Three of them died before help could be reached.

Wen told Putin two aspects of the 17th CPC congress were important: the lesson from China's 30 years of reform and opening up is that it has to uphold socialism with Chinese characteristics, and it will insist on peaceful development.

Sound relations with Russians will be of primary importance for China's foreign policy, the premier said.

It was perhaps the last meeting between Wen and Putin before the Russian presidential election next March. Yet Putin assured Wen that Russia's policy toward China wouldn't change even after he leaves the office. According to the Russian constitution, Putin can't seek election for a third term.

Both leaders described Sino-Russian ties as being the best in history today. They have developed smoothly especially during the past few years.

During an interview with the Russian news agencies before his visit, Wen had said bilateral ties have seen big and substantial changes since the two countries established a strategic cooperative partnership 10 years ago.

The two neighbors have deepened political mutual trust, greatly expanded trade and economic cooperation and enriched the content of strategic cooperative partnership by holding events such as the "Year of Russia" in China and the "Year of China" in Russia.

Wen and Putin yesterday discussed a broad range of bilateral issues, including energy. They are believed to have exchanged views on international matters such as the Iranian nuclear issue, too.

Wen said he is confident that the two countries will increase cooperation in fields such as strategic security.

China and Russia will continue supporting one another on major issues of common concern, he said.

Putin has made relations with China a strong element of his diplomacy, particularly in politics. His five meetings with President Hu Jintao this year is a reflection of his policy.

The last Hu-Putin meeting was held on the sidelines of the APEC forum in Sydney two months ago. The two leaders also attended the largest joint military drill in the Ural Mountains in August.

Wen is scheduled to meet with his Russian counterpart Viktor Zubkov today and also attend the second China-Russia business summit and the closing ceremony of the "Year of China" in Russia.

Source: China Daily



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