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China, Russia sign agreement on cross-border water use, protection
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China and Russia signed an agreement on Tuesday on the use and protection of trans-border waterways, according to a statement from the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

"The Agreement between the Government of the People's Republic of China and the Government of the Russian Federation on Reasonable Utilization and Protection of Transboundary Waters" was signed by Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi and the visiting Russian Natural Resources Minister, Yuri Trutnev.

The agreement specifies the scope, contents and methods of bilateral cooperation and provided legal foundations for further cooperation, the statement said.

"The agreement indicates the two countries have entered a new phase of cooperation in water use and protection and will further promote Sino-Russian strategic partnership of coordination," it said.

In preparing for the agreement, Trutnev met with Zhou Shengxian, head of China's State Environmental Protection Administration, and Chen Lei, Chinese Minister of Water Resources, on Monday, the statement added.

China and Russia share about 3,500 kilometers of trans-border water bodies including the Ergun, Heilongjiang and Wusuli rivers and Xingkai Lake.

(Xinhua News Agency January 30, 2008)

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