The leaders of Russia, China and four Central Asian nations met here Wednesday for talks that officials said would focus on counter-terrorism and a regional response to the global financial crisis.
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, host Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao, and leaders from four ex-Soviet countries -- Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan -- gathered for the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) meeting.
Representatives from India, Iran, Mongolia and Pakistan also joined the regional grouping's talks at Beijing's Great Hall of the People, as the four countries have SCO observer status, AFP reports.
According to Bloomberg, Prime Minister Vladimir Putin used a trip to China to clinch oil, natural-gas and nuclear agreements, helping turn Russia into a global energy supplier with pipelines stretching from Berlin to Beijing.
Russian companies signed deals on starting gas deliveries, jointly refining Siberian crude and building Chinese nuclear reactors on a two-day visit to Beijing that started yesterday.
"China is Russia’s economic future," said Roland Nash, chief strategist at Renaissance Capital in Moscow. "If this relationship works out, it will be a major contributor to the stability and speed of global economic growth."
"We must use the potential of our cooperation for post-crisis development," said Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao voiced hope the meeting created "a unique opportunity for exchanging opinions and working out a specific plan."
"China pays great attention to the Shanghai Cooperation Organization. The meeting has shown that the countries of the region are deeply interested in expanding mutual cooperation for the stake of long-term stable development," Wen said, The Associated Press reports.
The continued irresolution of the W.Sahara conflict: The right to self-determination vs. Realpolitik by Dr. Sidi Omar, Frente Polisario representative at the UN