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China Looks for Improved Communication with Russia

  • Stephanie Ho

China is praising its strategic partnership with Russia, but says it hopes to intensify the China-Russia dialogue to resolve unspecified problems in the relationship.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang Thursday praised his country's relations with its giant neighbor, Russia.

Qin says China is willing to "join hands" with Russia to press ahead with bilateral relations, especially against the backdrop of what he describes as the "complicated international situation."

His comments came as Chinese President Hu Jintao ended a three-day visit to Russia. He first attended important meetings in Yekatarinberg, in central Russia, of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization and the so-called BRIC grouping of Brazil, Russia, India and China.

Wednesday, he met with the Russian president in Moscow.

Problems remain

In Beijing, the Chinese spokesman acknowledged problems remain between the two sides.

Qin says China is willing to follow what he calls the "spirit of strategic coordination" to intensify dialogue and cooperation, to resolve what he calls the "existing issues."

The spokesman gave no details, but recent Chinese media reports have focused on a price dispute about how much China should pay for imports of Russian gas.

Territorial issue resolved

Last October, the two countries formally settled one of their thorniest issues - the demarcation of their 4,300-kilometer border. Russia returned 174 square kilometers of largely-uninhabited territory to China. The territory had been sized by the then-Soviet Union during a border skirmish in 1929.

The Chinese spokesman says, despite some remaining problems, the two countries have "highly similar views" on the major international and regional issues of common interest.

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