The decision of Chinese Chairman Hu Jintao to make his first foreign visit to Russia symbolises the two countries' intention to continue their strategic partnership, Russian Ambassador to China Igor Rogachev stated in his interview with RIA Novosti.
According to him, Hu Jintao's visit to Russia will be the longest in his foreign tour. During his visit on May 26th-28th Moscow will host a meeting between Russian President Vladimir Putin and Hu Jintao. Later the Chairman will participate in the SCO summit /Russia, China, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan/ and then in the celebration of St. Petersburg's 300th anniversary.
The Ambassador believes this visit and the scheduled meetings at the presidential level will promote the development of Russian-Chinese strategic partnership in all areas and closer coordination of actions on the international scene.
According to Mr. Rogachev, Russia-China interaction on the international scene is based on their similar or coinciding approaches to a wide range of conceptual international problems. A consolidating part that Russia and China can play in the world comes from urgent, purely pragmatic demands of the mankind that has faced absolutely new threats and challenges in terms of their scales and displays, Mr. Rogachev pointed out. And both countries believe that the UN must play a key role in this process, he pointed out.
Russian and Chinese diplomats are actively cooperating on the Korean problem as well, Mr. Rogachev stated. "Both Russia and China are Korea's close neighbours, and we are very concerned about the development in North Korea," he stressed.
These discussions show that the standpoints of Russia and China in their main elements almost fully coincide, he pointed out. We support elimination of nuclear weapons on the Korean peninsula, North Korea's return to the regime of non-proliferation of mass destruction weapons and Pyongyang's cooperation with the IAEA in order to resolve the current problems by means of negotiations with consideration of North Korea's concern about its security.
Russia and China also believe that the UN must play a key role in the Iraqi settlement, according to Mr. Rogachev.
Russian-Chinese trade and economic cooperation has significantly intensified in the last two years, the Ambassador pointed out. The high growth rate of mutual trade has been preserved for the fourth consecutive year. In 2002 trade between the countries reached nearly $12 billion. In the first four months of 2003 it increased by over 30 per cent and amounted to $4.51 billion. Accordingly, trade and economic cooperation has been steadily expanding, the Ambassador stated.
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