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Chinese leaders meet Mironov
   CCTV.COM   2003-08-06 09:08:21   
    China says it hopes the existing Sino-Russian "strategic partnership of cooperation" can be further strengthened. This was the message from meetings in Beijing Tuesday between visiting Russian Federation Council Chairman Sergey Mironov and Chinese leaders. The Russian parliamentary leader was here for a two-day official visit.

    It was their second meeting in over two months. Russia's parliamentary leader Sergey Mironov and his delegation were paying a return visit to Chinese President Hu Jintao. Their first meeting was in May, when Hu Jintao made his state visit to Russia. The atmosphere of the meeting was cordial, and the Chinese President began by recalling his impressive stay in Russia. Hu Jintao says that the mechanism of official exchanges between the two sides has become an important driving force in deepening and strengthening bilateral ties.

    Mr. Mironov made a number of suggestions to Hu Jintao, which aroused the Chinese leader's interest. Mironov hopes that parliamentary exchanges among the six member states of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization should expand their exchanges. Currently, most cooperation among the central Asian countries is on anti-terrorism and countering separatism.

    Before meeting with President Hu Jintao, Mironov also held talks with Premier Wen Jiabao. This was the first time the two had met. Wen Jiabao said that the objective of Sino-Rusian ties is clear: that is to maintain a "strategic partnership of cooperation". The agreement was signed by leaders of the two countries in 2001, and serves as a legal basis for the two sides to further develop their relations.

    Mironov says that his visit has been a great success, and that he will make continuous efforts to push forward bilateral exchanges.

    Sergey Mironov has said, " We have reached consensus with the Chinese side, that the Russian parliament will expand its exchanges with the NPC, especially exchanges among special committees and organization, such as on international affairs, economic development, and natural resources."

    Though Chinese leaders have expressed optimism on Sino-Russian relations, problems still remain. Although bilateral trade registered four consecutive years of growth, it still occupied only a small portion of each country's total trade, with only some 12 billion US dollars per year. Both have more extensive trade ties with the US and EU. Without a strong economic leg, the strategic relations could be "hollow". Mironov also expressed the need to improve Russia's trade structure with China. He believes that mechanical technology, nuclear energy, and civil aviation are some of the areas to be further strengthened in he future.

    Mironov also announced that the Russian Prime Minister Mikail Kasyanov would pay an official visit to China next month --- a signal that the Russian government considers its relations with China to be important.

    The meeting with Chinese President Hu Jintao marks the end of Mironov's visit to China. The two days of talks have given the Russian parliamentary leader a rare chance for face-to-face dialogue with the new Chinese leaders. Even though his short stay in Beijing has come to an end, Sino-Russian parliamentary exchanges at all levels are expected to become more frequent in the coming years.

Editor: Xiao Wei

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