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China-Russia Strategic Forum Opens

More than 30 participants at the first Sino-Russian strategic forum, which opened in Beijing on Monday, said the countries' strategic cooperative partnership has entered a "very important" stage in its development.

The attendees, including Chinese and Russian government and military officials and experts, also discussed the international and East Asian situation, and called for enhanced mutual political trust and coordination in international and regional affairs.

Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Yefimovich Fradkov will pay an official visit to China from November 3 to 4 for the 10th Sino-Russian Prime Ministers' Meeting with Premier Wen Jiabao. They are expected to discuss how to step up bilateral cooperation in politics, economics, trade, energy and technology.

Most experts at the forum said that since the two countries set up a strategic partnership in 1996, they have made much progress in strengthening mutual trust and expanding economic, military and security cooperation.

Xiong Guangkai, chairman of the China Institute for International Strategic Studies, said the development of a new type relationship between China and Russia sets an example for other countries.

Zheng Yu, a Chinese Academy of Social Sciences expert on Eastern Europe and Central Asia affairs, said China and Russia keep close coordination in regional and international affairs, deepen cooperation in fighting against terrorism and boosting economy and security within the framework of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, and have played a positive role in settling the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue.

How to further enhance trust and enrich the partnership in the wake of a changing international situation is an important task for the two countries, said A. D. Voskresensky, a Russian expert from the International Affairs Institute in Moscow.

(Xinhua News Agency November 1, 2005)

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