President Vladimir Putin: Dear Mr President, allow me to offer you my greetings. I am very happy to have this opportunity to meet with you and with our Chinese friends and colleagues. The Prime Minister of the Russian Federation was in China just recently and held very intensive talks with our Chinese colleagues. Intensive development is continuing in all the different areas of our joint work and we sense that our Chinese colleagues are set on pursuing precisely this policy of cooperation with the Russian Federation. I can assure you that there is no doubt in Russia that developing relations between our country and the People’s Republic of China is completely in keeping with our national interests.
President of China Hu Jintao: I am pleased to be meeting with you again two months after our last meeting. As you noted, this year has been marked by successful and intensive development of Chinese-Russian relations. I visited Russia twice this year and this meeting is our fourth so far this year. Together we issued the Joint Declaration on the International Order in the Twenty-First Century, which sets out our common positions on topical international issues. We have held our first joint military exercises, launched a mechanism for consultations on strategic security issues and established an institution for inter-parliamentary cooperation. The recent meeting between our two heads of government resulted in progress being made. All of these steps increase the trust between us and make it possible for us to raise the level of our strategic partnership. China places great importance on developing relations with Russia. We see relations with Russia as one of the most important elements of our foreign policy and we are ready to work together with your country to take our strategic partnership to a new level.
Vladimir Putin: The schedule for next year is such that a large number of Russian-Chinese bilateral events will be taking place in China. I would also like to note another area of our cooperation – cultural cooperation. In 2006 and 2007 we are preparing to organise respectively the Year of Russia in China and the Year of China in Russia.
I am sure that these events will create a favourable climate for developing business cooperation. I know that you, Mr President, support the idea of holding the Year of China in Russia and the Year of Russia in China.
Hu Jintao: Yes, we do indeed place immense importance on holding the Year of Russia in China and the Year of China in Russia. We have already established an organising committee headed by Vice Premier Wu Yi, with State Council members Tang Jiaxuan and Chen Zhili as her deputies. The organising committee also includes the representatives of legislative bodies, major enterprises, cultural circles and the armed forces.
Preparatory work has already begun. First, our idea is that we could organise several major, significant events in combination with our mutual visits in order to involve our peoples in actively participating and making a contribution towards developing the friendship between China and Russia. Second, we also need to examine fully the way existing cooperation mechanisms between our countries work in order to go even further in strengthening our business cooperation in the most diverse range of sectors. Third, it is important to activate cultural and personal exchanges so as to build greater mutual understanding between our peoples and in this way strengthen the friendship between us.
Improving the mutual understanding between our youth is particularly important. We have already outlined some of our ideas for organising events in this area to the Russian side. I hope that the two sides will be able to hold consultations rapidly in order to come to decisions on these events so that we can begin work on implementing our ideas as soon as possible. Comrade Wu Yi has already sent an invitation to Mr Medvedev so that he can visit our country in the nearest future.
Vladimir Putin: This is a very good choice on your part.