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Chinese vice premier arrives in Russia for official visit


08:16, April 27, 2012

Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang (L) is welcomed upon his arrival in Moscow, Russia, April 26, 2012. (Xinhua/Huang Jingwen)

MOSCOW, April 26 (Xinhua) -- Chinese Vice Premier Li Keqiang arrived here Thursday for an official visit that will include meetings with Russia's top leaders.

In a written speech upon his arrival at the airport, Li said China and Russia were friendly neighbors, sharing a long border straddled by mountains and rivers, and the friendship between the two peoples went back a long way.

With concerted efforts by both sides, friendly cooperation based on good-neighborliness had been continuously advanced in recent years, Li said.

"China and Russia have become each other's comprehensive strategic partner of cooperation sharing weal and woe," he said, adding "we are friendly neighbors, strategic partners and good friends."

Li said the development of China-Russia relations had brought real benefits for the two peoples and played a key role in maintaining regional and world peace, safety and stability.

China, Li said, would join hands with Russia to make advancing bilateral ties one of their foreign policy priorities, regard each other's development as an important opportunity, and further implement the planning for the development of China-Russia ties in the next decade.

Li also expressed China's commitment to promoting the development of the comprehensive relations of strategic cooperation and partnership with Russia.

Li said he believed his visit would build political mutual trust, deepen pragmatic cooperation and strategic coordination in all spheres, cement the traditional friendship and mutual understanding of the two peoples and make new contributions to the sustained, rapid and sound development of their comprehensive, friendly and cooperative relations.

During his visit, Li is scheduled to meet Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Prime Minister and president-elect Vladimir Putin, Chairman of the Federation Council Valentina Matviyenko, and Chairman of State Duma Sergei Naryshkin.

They will exchange views on bilateral ties, major international and regional issues of common concern, and cooperation on major projects.

Li will also have extensive contacts with Russians from various walks of life, give an address at Moscow State University, attend a meeting on bilateral trade and investment, and meet with Russian World War II veterans.

The vice premier will also visit the central Russian city of Kazan and meet local leaders of the Volga Federal District.

Russia is the first leg of Li's trip, which will also take him to Hungary, Belgium and the EU headquarters in Brussels.

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