MOSCOW, Oct. 9 (Xinhua) -- The continued development of the Russia-China strategic partnership of cooperation has conformed to the interests of both countries, a Foreign Ministry spokesman says.
Spokesman Andrei Nesterenko made the comments in a written interview with Xinhua ahead of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin's visit to China on Oct. 12-14.
Putin was to meet with Chinese leaders on bilateral trade cooperation, culture, and international issues, Nesterenko told Xinhua.
This year marks the 60th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral diplomatic relations, Nesterenko said, noting that the Soviet Union recognized the People's Republic of China (PRC) on Oct. 2, 1949, just one day after the founding of the PRC.
The leaders of both countries have congratulated each other on the 60th anniversary of bilateral ties. A wide range of activities, including seminars and photo and literature exhibitions, have been held to commemorate the historic date.
Political trust between the two leaderships has reached an unprecedented high level, bilateral coordination on the international stage has been enhanced significantly, and trade and cultural cooperation has flourished, Nesterenko said.
Russia-China trade and economic cooperation has witnessed steady development in the past years, he said. "The two-way trade surged to the historical height of 56.83 billion U.S. dollars in 2008," he said.
Despite the negative impact of the global economic crisis, Russia and China have kept a high level of cooperation, and even made substantial progress in some important fields, the spokesman said.
Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin and Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan in April signed an intergovernmental agreement on oil cooperation. Thereafter followed a package of oil cooperation deals on pipeline construction.
A plan for investment cooperation was approved in June, and various forms of cooperation have been pushed forward across the border and in some other regions, he said.
Meanwhile, Russia-China cultural cooperation has been developing rapidly. The reciprocal national theme years, Year of Russia in China in 2006 and Year of China in Russia in 2007, contributed greatly to the advancement of bilateral cultural cooperation, Nesterenko said.
He recalled that a variety of activities, covering almost all areas of bilateral ties, were staged during the national theme years, and people from all walks of life were involved. The people are the basis of further consolidated bilateral relationship in the future, he said.