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Medvedev to continue strategic partnership with China
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As the new president comes to the fore, the changing role of Putin is also being watched closely - he was nominated as Russia's new prime minister soon after Medvedev's inauguration ceremony.

Many have questioned the Medvedev-Putin partnership, on who would be the real leader.

The New York Times said "there was no doubt that Medvedev was taking charge of a portfolio and a position more difficult than the celebrations will suggest".

The Independent newspaper also questioned Medvedev's power. "Putin is expected to continue wielding enormous power in an expanded prime ministerial role," the London-based paper said.

The reports reflected the West's fear of the uncertainty of Russia's future as the country grows in strength, Chinese analysts have said.

"Russia is much stronger than it was eight years ago. The behavior of the country is closely related to the interest of the West as Moscow is on a much better position in dealing with the two most important problems - food and oil - than the West," Professor Xia Yishan of the China Institute of International Studies was quoted as saying by the Global Times, a Beijing-based paper.

(Xinhua News Agency May 8, 2008)

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