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Jiang, Putin Hold Talks
Chinese President Jiang Zemin and Russian President Vladimir Putin held official talks in Beijing Monday morning.

Jiang said he and Putin had already discussed issues of common concern and reached broad consensus. He would like to further exchange views on bilateral relations with Putin.

Putin extended his congratulations to the successful conclusion of the 16th National Congress of the Communist Party of China, commending it "not only a major event in China's political life, but a major event in the international arena."

The Russia-China relations have "reached quite a high level," he said, noting Russia is willing to cooperate with China to usher in a new phase bilateral ties.

After the talks, the two heads of state signed a China-Russia joint statement. They also witnessed the signing of a treaty on the transfer of convicts between the two nations, a protocol on the agreement on establishing the regular meeting mechanism between Chinese and Russian prime ministers and its organizational principles signed on June 27, 1997, and an agreement on cooperation between China's Public Security Ministry and Russia's Federal Service of Tax Police to fight tax-related and other economic crime.

Following their talks, Jiang and Putin also met the press. Jiang described his talks with Putin as "rich in content" and said that he and Putin "fully summarized the smooth evolution of the Sino-Russian relationship over the past decade and laid out a blueprint for the future of bilateral ties."

"China and Russia will be good neighbors, friends and partners forever," Jiang said, adding that the two countries will continue their efforts to ensure the implementation of strategic concepts such as those contained in the China-Russia Good-Neighborly Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation under the new situation for the continuous growth of bilateral ties.

The China-Russia Good-Neighborly Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation has provided a solid legal foundation for lasting friendship for generations to come, Jiang continued.

The treaty will guarantee the stable and healthy development of China-Russia relations in the long run, he said.

During the past one year and more, Jiang said, the two sides maintained close high-level exchanges and the mutually beneficial cooperation was expanded on all fronts.

"The treaty has shown great vitality in action," Jiang said, adding that he believes the document will provide stronger impetus for the future development of bilateral ties.

"Under the current complicated international situation, 'Peace is most valuable,'" Jiang quoted an old Chinese saying.

(China.org.cn edited from Xinhua News Agency, December 2, 2002)

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