Russia, China enjoy long, tight bond

2008-05-21 02:57:14 GMT       2008-05-21 10:57:14 (Beijing Time)       Xinhua English

By Liao Lei

MOSCOW, May 20 (Xinhua) -- Russia's new President Dmitry Medvedev is to visit China on Friday and Saturday, which will be his first visit to foreign countries after taking office on May 7.

China will also be the first non-CIS (Commonwealth of Independents States) country Medvedev is to visit during his presidency, showing a tight bond between the two nations and the two governments, a bond established by Russia's first President Boris Yeltsin in 1997, preserved and promoted by his successor and Medvedev's predecessor Vladimir Putin during his eight-year presidency since 2000.

The Good-neighborly Friendship Cooperation Treaty between the People's Republic of China and Russia, inked in 2001, pledged bilateral friendship for generations and vowed that the two countries and peoples would never be enemies.

In 2005, Russia and China exchanged approval documents for a supplementary treaty on the east border, marking a full and thorough settlement for border issues that once troubled bilateral ties.

In a bid to further consolidate bilateral ties, Russian and Chinese leaders decided to hold theme years for each other, including the Year of Russia in China in 2006 and the Year of China in Russia in 2007.

The grandiose events, involving people from all walks of life in both countries, consolidated the social foundation for development of bilateral ties and boosted cooperation in politics, economy, culture, education, sports and other fields.

During the theme years, Chinese President Hu Jintao and his then counterpart Putin met five times in an unusual frequency for meetings between world leaders.

Along with their meetings, parliament speakers, heads of government, senior diplomats and regional officials of both countries also had a frequent exchange of visits, which helped to deepen understanding and cooperation between the two nations.

Furthermore, Beijing and Moscow hold similar views on many international and regional affairs.

The two countries held their first joint large-scale military drill in 2005, built a security coordination mechanism, and organized the first anti-terrorism military exercise involving all member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.

Economic cooperation also boomed along with political progress.

Bilateral trade volume jumped from 7 billion U.S. dollars to more than 10 billion dollars during the first years of the 21st Century and then 50 billion dollars in 2007. The two governments hope to bring bilateral trade volume to 80 billion dollars by 2010.

Bilateral cooperation in infrastructure construction, timber processing, mine and energy exploration have seen tangible progress. Both sides also see large potential for cooperation in space development, telecommunication technology, electricity facilities, investment, agriculture, new material, environment protection and bio-technologies.

As President Medvedev has put it, the Russian-Chinese ties have been an important part of the world. The development of bilateral strategic partnership not only benefits the two peoples, but also helps promote world prosperity and harmony.

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