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Into the Next Decade
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The joint statement China and Russia signed in Moscow on Monday ushers in a new era of partnership.

The two countries marked the 10th anniversary of the partnership as part of President Hu Jintao's visit to Moscow.

Monday's joint statement highlighted the growing bilateral relations' future direction. It also noted the two nations' desire to settle shared problems including boundary issues. China and Russia have one of the longest land borders in the eastern hemisphere, sharing a 4,300 kilometer-long border.

The past decade has witnessed the two countries' steady and maturing partnership.

In the joint statement, China and Russia continue to uphold the Treaty for Good Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation. The pact, signed in 2001, was the product of improved Sino-Russian ties.

The joint statement promises major policy continuity. Once again, Russia states that "there is only one China" and that Taiwan and Tibet are China's internal affairs.

China and Russia first announced the development of their strategic partnership at a Shanghai summit in 1996. Since then, they have taken steps to build this relationship.

They have based the partnership on legitimate and national interests. They also have shared concerns regarding the spread of terrorism.

Close contacts between the two countries have showcased the development of the growing relationship. Last year alone, Hu and Russian President Vladimir Putin held six summits.

Common concerns in the international arena have furnished much of the impetus for the strategic partnership's growth.

The relationship is not aimed at any one nation.

The deals the two countries signed on Monday indicated that economic cooperation is an important element of the Sino-Russian partnership. New projects will develop the trade structure between the two countries.

In its initial stage, it primarily involves Russian raw materials and Chinese consumer goods and food. With vast human and natural resources, the two countries have great potential for growth in both trade and investment.

Ten years ago, the two countries agreed to maintain their friendship from generation to generation. On Monday they took that oath again as the Sino-Russian partnership heads into the next decade.

(China Daily via agencies March 28, 2007)

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