Russian President Dmitri Medvedev says his country's relationship with China is now a driving force on the world stage and can no longer be ignored.
The Kremlin leader told students at Peking University Saturday the international community can no longer make major decisions without the two countries. And he said Russia will continue to pursue closer ties with China, even if it makes other countries uneasy.
The comments come on day two of Mr. Medvedev's visit to China.
He began the day by laying a wreath at the Monument to the People's Heroes in Beijing's Tiananmen Square.
He also met with the chairman of the National People's Congress, Wu Bangguo, and stressed the need for greater cooperation between the Russian and Chinese parliaments.
Mr. Medvedev is in China for talks on trade and international issues, on his first official foreign trip since becoming Russia's president earlier this month.
He and Chinese President Hu Jintao signed a $1 billion agreement Friday for Russia to build a uranium enrichment facility in China. They also joined in criticizing plans by the United States to build a missile defense system in central Europe.
Meanwhile, Russia's military says it is sending at least nine more planeloads of humanitarian aid to China to help with earthquake relief efforts.
Russia and China have been trying to strengthen political ties as they seek to counter what they see as U.S. dominance in international affairs.
The Kremlin also sees China as a potentially lucrative market for Russia's abundant oil and natural gas reserves.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.