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Putin is an old friend of the Chinese People, President Hu says

Chinese president meets Russian PM on bilateral cooperation, strategic partnership:

President Hu Jintao met Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin Wednesday in Beijing to exchange views on the development of the strategic relations of cooperation and partnership between China and Russia.

Hu welcomed Putin's visit, calling the Russian prime minister "an old friend of the Chinese people."

Hu categorized the 16th regular meeting between the two countries' prime ministers that Putin co-chaired with Premier Wen Jiabao on Tuesday as pragmatic and productive.

"I believe your visit will further promote the development of the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of cooperation," Hu said.

Hu urged deepening mutual political and strategic trust and expanding communication and cooperation at the moment of the 10th anniversary of the signing of China- Russia Treaty of Good-Neighborliness, Friendship and Cooperation.

Echoing Hu's views, Putin said the Sino-Russia relations developed very smoothly.

Putin hailed the rapid growth of bilateral relations, noting that Hu's visit to Russia in June injected new momentum for the two nations to foster ties.

Putin told Hu that he reviewed the current cooperation between the two countries in various fields with Premier Wen during the regular meeting on Tuesday, and the two sides also proposed plans for future cooperation.

"Prior to the regular meeting, business representatives from our two nations had signed a series of cooperative agreements with a value of over seven billion U.S. dollars," Putin added.

Hu said China and Russia had eliminated the negative influence of the global financial crisis with both sides' joint efforts and called for extending the scale of cooperation and investment between China and Russia.

He also urged greater cooperation in energy, economy, and trade in order to have bilateral trade reach 100 billion U.S. dollars by 2015.

Putin confirmed the significant progress of the economy and trade cooperation between the two countries. He said Russia is willing to boost strategic cooperation in energy technology, aviation, and space exploration with China.

Putin also extended greetings from Russian President Dmitry Medvedev to Hu.

State Councilor Dai Bingguo, Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, and Minister of Commerce Chen Deming also were present at the meeting.

As Wen's guest, Putin arrived in Beijing on Tuesday for a two-day official visit.

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