Hu, Putin promote partnership

By Sun Shangwu (China Daily)
Updated: 2007-03-27 06:53

Russian President Vladimir Putin (R) and his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao open the Chinese Year in Russia at a ceremony in Moscow March 26, 2007. [Reuters]

MOSCOW: Visiting President Hu Jintao and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, who inaugurated the Year of China in Russia last night, promised to take advantage of the national year activities to consolidate their strategic partnership.

The two presidents also issued a joint statement, which emphasizes their political will to push forward the strategic partnership of coordination, which was initiated a decade ago.

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Hu and Putin also dwelt on international affairs, including non-proliferation efforts and counter-terrorism.

The two countries also signed nine agreements on trade and the economy, including several banking deals such as the one by Russian foreign trade bank VTB to receive loans from China's State Development Bank to promote Russian exports to China.

Aerospace authorities from the two countries agreed to cooperate in the exploration of Mars, but no details were revealed at the signing ceremony, which was witnessed by the two presidents.

The railway authorities signed a deal to increase oil deliveries to China.

Last year, Russia delivered only 10 million tons of the 15 million tons of oil it had promised due to technical difficulties. The new agreement could increase oil shipments to 25-30 million tons by 2010, according to Russian sources.

Pointing out that the China-Russia strategic partnership has entered the second decade, Hu made a five-point proposal so that the two countries become "sincere political partners," "mutually beneficial economic and trade partners," "innovative scientific and technological partners," "harmonious and friendly cultural partners" as well as "security partners in unity".

Hu said that the Treaty of Good Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation, which was signed in July, 2001, is the guiding document for the advancement of bilateral ties, which focus on fostering peace and friendship.

He said that the two governments should make substantial progress in infrastructure construction and collaborate in conventional and nuclear energy, science and technology, processing of raw materials, and also take measures to improve the trade and investment environment.

In science and technology, the two nations should expand partnership in aerospace, bio-engineering and information technology, according to Hu.

He highlighted China's efforts in cleaning up trans-border rivers, mainly the Songhua River, on which the Chinese government plans to spend 15 years on improving the water quality.

Chemical pollution in the Songhua River in November 2005 had caused great concern to Russian residents in the Far Eastern regions, who live in areas on the lower reaches of the river.

Putin said the national year activities have played a positive role in pushing forward bilateral economic, trade and cultural exchanges.

He called on both sides to expand cooperation in power, telecommunications, civil aviation and peaceful use of outer space.

Russia will continue its cooperation with China in the military and military technology sector, according to Putin.

The leaders attended the opening ceremony of the Year of China in Russia, which is a reciprocal event to the Year of Russia marked in China last year.

Both events were agreed upon during Hu's visit to Russia in July 2005.

The Year of China in Russia will see some 200 activities to enhance exchanges and understanding between the two countries in various areas.

Hu's three-day state visit will also take him to the city of Kazan.

(China Daily 03/27/2007 page1)

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