TASHKENT, June 10 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao and Russian counterpart Dmitri Medvedev met here Thursday and declared they were ready to further advance relations between their two countries.
The meeting was held on the sidelines of the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO), which groups China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan.
Hu said there had been all-round progress in China-Russia relations in the first half of this year. Noting this was the two presidents' third meeting so far this year, Hu said they have reached consensus on deepening bilateral relations in many areas.
Hu met Medvedev in Moscow last month as Russia marked the 65th anniversary of its victory in World War II. Hu said the commemoration activities helped improve Russia's international status and influence and he thanked the Russian side for their hospitality.
Hu said bilateral relations would see a number of major events in the latter half of this year. He said the two countries should make good on arrangements for high-level contact in this period, including Medvedev's visit to China and the regular meeting of prime ministers of the two countries.
Hu said the coming visit to China by Medvedev would be a major event in bilateral relations and government departments were working to ensure a total success of the visit.
Hu said the two sides should work to advance cooperation in such areas as trade, the economy, energy and local government to lift the level of practical cooperation and achieve more results.
Hu said the two countries should continue to advance cultural and people-to-people exchanges by holding “Chinese Language Year” activities in Russia.
The two countries have developed a mechanism for high-level contact, under which the leaders have kept close communication and reached important consensus on deepening cooperation in all areas. The mechanism has helped advance bilateral relations to new levels.
The relationship between China and Russia has witnessed consistently rapid growth this year. The two sides have carried out close communication and coordination on the international and regional issues of reform of the United Nations, nuclear arms on the Korean Peninsula, the Iranian nuclear program and the situation in Central Asia.
Bilateral trade totaled 38.8 billion U.S. dollars in 2009. China has so far made more than 1.3 billion U.S. dollars worth of direct investment in Russia, while the latter has set up more than 2,000 investment projects in China.
Cultural and people-to-people exchanges between the two countries have become increasingly active. Russia is now carrying out a year-long activity to promote the Chinese language among its people. China held a similar Russian language activity last year.
Exchanges at local levels between the two countries are on the rise. Some 94 provinces and cities in China have formed a friend-city relationship with their Russian counterparts.
The growing contact between the business, academic, women and youth circles also has helped enhance mutual understanding and friendship between the two peoples.
As an important part of bilateral relations, the mechanism of high-level contact has become a convenient channel for the two countries to strengthen communication and coordination on major and sensitive issues in bilateral, regional and multilateral dimensions. It has played an important role in advancing the China-Russia relations of strategic cooperation and partnership in an all-round way.