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Hu Meets Putin at APEC Summit
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Chinese President Hu Jintao met Saturday with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin in Hanoi and expressed his willingness to work together with Russia to push forward the Sino-Russian strategic partnership.

"The relations between China and Russia have made historic progress since they forged a strategic partnership of coordination 10 years ago," Hu said when meeting with Putin on the sidelines of the two-day Economic Leaders' Informal Meeting of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, which began on Saturday.

Both sides have enhanced mutual political trust, achieved noticeable results in their pragmatic cooperation and deepened their strategic coordination, he said, adding that the Sino-Russian friendship has contributed to peace and stability in the region and the world as a whole.

Calling the "Year of Russia" in China a success, Hu said he believed the 2007 "Year of China" in Russia will be successful as well.

"The overall economic and trade ties between the two countries have maintained a good momentum," Hu said, urging both sides to make joint efforts in expanding cooperation and enhancing its quality.

To attain the goal, the Chinese president said economic and trade structure should be improved, with more cooperation in electro-mechanical products and high technology, mutual investment be increased and areas of cooperation be expanded.

China is willing to enhance cooperation with Russia in such fields as science and technology, aviation and space technology, health, environmental protection and culture, he added.

Noting the Russia-China ties and their mutually beneficial cooperation having developed to a high level, Putin said his country will continuously strive to promote bilateral friendship and cooperation.

Putin said he appreciated China's arrangement for the "Year of Russia" and pledged to offer assistance for the 2007 "Year of China" in Russia.

He said Russia-China trade has developed rapidly, adding that Russia has launched the construction of its longest oil pipeline from eastern Siberia to the Pacific Ocean.

The oil pipeline will run from Taishet along a 4,000 km route, to give Russia access to countries of the Asian-Pacific region.

Russia also supported participation of Chinese enterprises in the energy exploration and exploitation in Russia, the Russian president said.

On the nuclear issue of the Korean Peninsula, President Hu said all parties concerned should strive for the denuclearization of the peninsula and seek a settlement of the issue through dialogues.

They should also resume the six-party talks, which involve China, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Russia, the United States, Japan and the Republic of Korea, and reaffirm a joint statement adopted at the talks on Sept. 19, 2005, said the Chinese president.

For his part, Putin said Russia will continue to coordinate with parties concerned in a bid to bring them back to the negotiating table.

On the Iran nuclear issue, the two leaders agreed that both China and Russia are opposed to nuclear proliferation and will push for a settlement of the issue through negotiations.

(Xinhua News Agency November 19, 2006)

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