The Sino-Russian strategic cooperative partnership will be further strengthened if Dimitry Medvedev is elected president, Chinese analysts believe.
"Establishing Russian-China strategic partnership is a pillar policy of the Putin administration and Medvedev is expected to follow Putin's policy on China," says Xu Tao, a professor of China Institutes of Contemporary International Relations.
"Moscow, confronted by increasing pressure from the West, needs understanding and support from China," he added, "This is a key reason why Medvedev will cherish the partnership with Beijing."
Professor Yang Chuang, a Russia expert from China Foreign Affairs University, views mutual economic benefits as another source of improving ties.
Trade volume between both sides increased from less than 11 billion US dollars in 2001 to more than 48 billion dollars in 2007. But both hope to increase this to between 60-80 billion by the end of 2010.
"Economic development is beneficial for both of us," says Yang, noting China needs ever more resources from Russia just as Moscow wants greater access to the Chinese market.
Medvedev's familiarity with China will also be an important factor if he is elected. "Medvedev understands the importance of China because he has long been responsible for China affairs in Putin's administration", Yang said.
"He was actually Moscow's top figure behind the successful holding of the Year of China in Russia in 2006 and the Year of Russia here in 2007."
(China Daily via Agencies March 3, 2008)