BEIJING, March 5 (Xinhua) -- China said Monday it hopes to further improve relations with Russia and boost bilateral ties following Vladimir Putin's victory in the Russian presidential election.
Chinese President Hu Jintao has sent a congratulatory message to Putin, who, as incumbent prime minister, won about 64 percent of the votes in Sunday's election, Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said.
"China respects the choice of the Russian people and supports Russia in taking a development mode that fits its own domestic situation," Liu said at a routine press briefing.
"We believe Russia will maintain social and political stability, continue economic development and play a greater role in the international arena," Liu said.
China and Russia play as each other's principal and most important strategic and cooperative partner, Liu said.
China hopes that the two sides can further implement the blueprints forged by the two leaderships on the development of bilateral ties in the coming decade, he said.
By doing so, the two countries can bolster a comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation, Liu added.
According to the mechanism of annual exchange of visits by Chinese and Russian heads of state, Russia's president will visit China in 2012.
"The two sides will keep close contact on that via diplomatic channels," Liu said.