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Russian PM Arrives in China

Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin arrived in Beijing Tuesday noon and started his two-day official visit to China.

During the visit at the invitation of Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, Putin will attend the 16th regular meeting between the two countries’ prime ministers.

Full Story Chinese President Hu Jintao and chairman of the Standing Committee of China’s National People’s Congress (NPC) Wu Bangguo will meet Putin.

In a nearly two-hour discussion in Beijing Monday morning, Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan and his Russian counterpart Alexander Zhukov expressed willingness to explore new directions for bilateral economic and trade cooperation.

“In the next phase, China and Russia will make efforts to maintain the rapid growth of bilateral trade and improve trade structure,” Wang said at the 15th meeting of the Joint Commission for the Regular Meetings of Heads of Government of China and Russia.

Zhukov said the two sides conducted candid and detailed discussions in economy and trade fields during the meeting, including bolstering bilateral customs cooperation, issues concerning Russia’s entry into the World Trade Organization (WTO), and cooperation in long-range wide-body aircraft.

The regular meetings between Chinese and Russian prime ministers, first established in 1996, have become an important platform for guiding and coordinating bilateral cooperation.

Prior to his trip to China, Putin said the two countries “have enjoyed an unparalleled partnership” and that he believes the meetings with the Chinese leaders will see “a positive development” in bilateral relations.

Putin’s official visit will be another significant event in the development of bilateral relations following the exchange of visits between Chinese President Hu Jintao and Russian President Dmitry Medvedev, Chinese Ambassador to Russia Li Hui told Xinhua on Sunday.

Thanks to the efforts from both sides, recent years have seen China-Russia relations reach unprecedentedly high levels, Li said, adding that the relationship between China and Russia has set a good example for international relations, especially relations between big powers.

According to Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Hong Lei, the two countries have supported each other in the international arena, as the two have carried out close coordination and jointly coped with new changes in the international situation to safeguard their common interests and promote the democratization of international relations.

On the sidelines of Putin’s visit, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Igor Sechin is scheduled to meet Vice Premier Wang Qishan and exchange views on Sino-Russian energy cooperation.

On Tuesday, Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Zhukov met Chinese State Councilor Liu Yandong at the 12th meeting of the China-Russia people-to-people cooperation committee.

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