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Wen calls for closer Sino-Russian ties
Updated: 2004-09-25 01:20

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao said Friday that China and Russia should further deepen political and economic cooperation to create a bright future for bilateral ties.

In a speech in Moscow, Wen highlighted several major favorable conditions and opportunities for further developing the strategic partnership between China and Russia.

First, the two neighbors have turned their 4,300-km border into a bridge and link of peace, friendship and cooperation. It is the shared will of the people of both countries to be good neighbors, good friends and good partners forever.

Second, both China and Russia are facing the historic tasks of economic development and national revitalization. As the two countries are highly complimentary in terms of market, technology, resources, investment, and talents, it is in the fundamental interests of both peoples to expand multi-dimensional cooperation.

Third, China and Russia are both big influential countries and permanent members of the UN Security Council and enhancing bilateral consultation and cooperation in international affairs is not only in the interest of the two countries, but also conducive to world peace, security and development.

Fourth, China and Russia share a solid foundation for the all- round development of their strategic partnership. In recent years, the strengthening of bilateral ties have been based on solid legal foundation, close consultation mechanisms, rich content of cooperation and strong driving force.

Wen also put forward a four-point suggestion to lift the bilateral strategic partnership to a new level, including deepening political mutual trust, expanding economic cooperation, enhancing cultural exchanges and strengthening strategic coordination on international affairs.

Wen noted that the two countries should view bilateral ties from a strategic perspective, adding that the building of mutual trust will enable both sides to properly handle possible problems in bilateral relations frankly so as to ensure stable and healthy growth of bilateral links.

In terms of economic cooperation, Wen said the two countries should strive to expand their trade volume to 60 billion to 80 billion US dollars by 2010.

He called for strengthened cooperation in space, telecommunications, energy, nuclear power, electronics and high technology.

Wen also stressed the importance of the exchanges between the youth of the two countries, saying that the friendship and solidarity of the younger generation represent the future of bilateral ties.

Wen pointed out that cooperation on international affairs is a major content of Sino-Russian strategic partnership and that the two sides should beef up cooperation in the fight against terrorism, separatism and extremism.

Citing an old Chinese saying as "a friend in need is a friend indeed," Wen said as the Russian people encountered difficulties, the Chinese government and people are ready to provide assistance to Russia within its capacity.

Wen condemned the terrorist attacks that occurred recently in Russia, extending profound condolence to the victims and sincere sympathy to their families and the Russian people.

He expressed the belief that under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin, the Russian people will overcome the current difficulties and maintain stability and security of the country and realize economic and social development.

Wen also expressed China's strong support for Russia to join the World Trade Organization (WTO) and believed bilateral trade will further develop through their cooperation in WTO.

Wen said the ever growing trade has become a fundamental factor and driving force in bilateral relations and that two-way trade this year is expected to hit 20 billion US dollars, reaching the target for 2005 ahead of schedule.

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