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China to further improve strategic partnership with Russia: foreign minister

(Xinhua)

13:40, March 06, 2012

BEIJING, March 6 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese government is prepared to work closely with Russia to bolster their comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi said Tuesday.

China will increase mutual political support with Russia and enhance bilateral cooperation and coordination in regional and international affairs, Yang said at a press conference on the sidelines of the annual parliamentary session.

Following incumbent Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's victory in the country's presidential election on Sunday, Chinese President Hu Jintao has sent a congratulatory message to Putin, Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said Monday.

Yang said China will ensure the success of high-level contacts and mutual visits between the two countries this year. According to the mechanism of annual exchange of visits by Chinese and Russian heads of state, Russia's president will visit China in 2012.

China will intensify practical cooperation between the two countries, in fields such as economy and trade, energy, science and technology, infrastructure and at local levels, said Yang.

"We are confident that with the joint efforts of the two countries, the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination will achieve even greater results," the foreign minister said.

China will play host to this year's summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which marked its 10th anniversary of establishment in 2011.

One of the main agendas of this year's summit, Yang said, is to plan the practical cooperation of the SCO, particularly the establishment of institutional safeguards for the financing of multilateral cooperation.

The summit will also discuss regional and international situations, with a focus on improving SCO measures in coping with situations that pose a threat to regional peace, stability and security, Yang said.

Founded on June 15, 2001, the SCO groups China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Observer countries include Mongolia, Pakistan, Iran and India while Belarus and Sri Lanka are dialogue partners.

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