INTERNATIONAL

Hu's Russia visit fruitful: China

Two sides to strengthen cooperation in strategic, economic and international affairs

BEIJING: Chinese President Hu Jintao' visit to Russia is "fruitful", said Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Jianchao here on Tuesday.

Mr. Hu paid a state visit to Russia from June 30 to July 3 at the invitation of his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin. Mr. Liu briefed a regular press conference on the general situation of Mr. Hu's Russia tour.

During this visit, the two sides issued a joint statement on a new world order in the 21st century and a joint communique, signed some documents on cooperation in finance, energy and electric power, and decided to hold the Russia year in China in 2006 and the China year in Russia in 2007.

"This fruitful visit is conducive for both sides to deepening political trust, to strengthening strategic cooperation, to increasing economic and trade cooperation, to enhancing coordination in international and regional affairs, to further promoting the development of China-Russia strategic partnership of cooperation," said Mr. Liu.

As to the energy cooperation, the two sides agreed that it is of great importance to enforce bilateral cooperation in the energy field. They decided to further implement the cooperation projects in the fields of oil and natural gas, including the construction of an oil pipeline and joint exploitation of oil fields in both countries.

Six-party talks

The cooperation agreements on oil, natural gas and electric power signed at the summit marked a new step in energy cooperation between the two countries, the communique said.

According to the agreement reached by the two leaders, before finishing the construction of the oil pipeline, the Russian side promised to provide China with crude oil, transported through railway, of 10 million tonnes this year and 15 million next year.

On the issue of six-party talks, Mr. Liu said no timetable is expected for restarting it, but all relevant parties are still working for resuming the peace talks. He said China welcomes the recent contact by the United States and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in New York when the two parties attended an academic conference on northeast Asian security.

"The contact is helpful to promote understanding between the United States and DPRK," Mr. Liu said.

"We hope all relevant parties, especially the United States and DPRK, can increase contacts, release more positive signals, sincerely push the peace talks process in a flexible, constructive and pragmatic way, so as to create a favourable condition for resuming talks at an early date".

The academic conference, held between June 30 and July 1, was co-hosted by the National Committee on American Foreign Policy and the DPRK Institute of Disarmament and Peace.

The officials discussed the nuclear issue on the Korean peninsula during the meeting, which, according to a press release at the end of the meeting, was the third such conference co-hosted by the two organisations.

Conference participants agreed that discussions were frank and constructive and they are optimistic that the DPRK will return to the six-party talks. — Xinhua

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