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China-Russia summit promotes overall development of relations
   CCTV.COM   2003-05-27 09:05:29   
    In addition to talks with the Russian head of state, Hu Jintao will also meet the Russian Prime Minister, and Russian Duma leaders. What can we expect from his visit to China's biggest neighbor, and how will it influence bilateral relations?

    A little more than two months after taking office, the new Chinese president is paying his first foreign visit to Moscow, where he will meet his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, the first time since late last year. He will also talk with other senior Russian officials, including the Premier and the Duma leaders.

    Political analysts say the visit will be a good opportunity for the Russians to better understand the new Chinese leadership.

    "I think since our new leadership in March, some people in Russia are concerned that they don't speak Russian like the previous one. The visit will show that the new leadership attaches great importance to Sino-Russian ties and will do whatever they can to enhance this relationship in the years to come," said Ruan Zongze, vice president of China Inst. of Int'l Studies.

    The visit comes against an ever-more complex international situation: the Iraqi war is over, Middle East peace is seeing new hopes but on the other hand we have the DPRK nuclear issue and rising international terrorism.

    Analysts say the two countries need to enhance each other's understanding on all these issues.

    "I think we have witnessed great changes in int'l affairs. So how to enhance mutual understanding, how to increase mutual trust and furthermore, how to increase cooperation in the future will be very important," said Ruan Zongze.

    Besides politics, trade is also expected to be a main topic during the summit. Bilateral trade has seen steady growth over the past decade, reaching 12 billion US dollars last year. An oil pipeline from Siberia to northeast China is to be opened soon. But there is still much trade potential left untapped.

    "Trade between the two countries has been developing healthily. But many areas need to be further explored to keep the growth momentum. This is also part of the effort to push for the overall development of the China-Russia strategic partnership of cooperation," said Chen Yurong, China Inst. of Int'l Studies.

    Energy cooperation is expected to top the trade talks. Improving trade facilitation mechanisms such as banking and insurance services will also be discussed.

    Prior to the visit, the Chinese president told Russian media that the two countries will work to raise their strategic partnership of cooperation to a new high and that they will continue to stick to good-neighbor principles, irrespective of international changes. Amongst all others, that could be the top priority that the president will strive to achieve.

Editor: Han Ling

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