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    ACCORDING TO CHINESE FOREIGN MINISTRY, RUSSIAN PRESIDENT WILL VISIT CHINA IN THE SECOND HALF OF 2004

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    BEIJING, 6 March, 2004. (RIA Novosti). Chinese foreign minister Li Zhaoxing reported that the regular Russian-Chinese summit meeting would be held in China in the second half of the current year.

    While speaking on Saturday at a press conference within the framework of the annual session of the All-Chinese Assembly of People's Representatives, the supreme legislative body of the country, the minister stated that Beijing attached significant attention to that visit.

    He reminded that upon agreement between the Chinese and Russian top leaders the year 2004 was declared in relations between China and Russia as the year of Youth of the two countries. According to the minister, that should "create second wind to animate Chinese -Russian relations".

    According to the minister, at one time the two countries made the right choice in favor of transferring of good relations from generation to generation and never becoming enemies for each other. Li Zhaoxing stated: "China and Russia are the largest neighboring countries. The correct choice of the two countries to ever be friends and never be foes." He pointed out that "strategic partnership relations were established between the two countries, the agreement on good neighborly relations, friendship and cooperation is signed, the mechanism of regular meetings of heads of the states and annual meetings of heads of the governments is functioning." Li Zhaoxing highly assessed strategic partnership between the two countries.

    The minister also reported that this year chairman of the Chinese parliament Wu Bangguo and premier of the Chinese State Council Wen Jiabao would arrive to Russia on official visits.

    He indicated that Chinese premier Wen Jiabao sent a congratulatory telegram to Mikhail Fradkov in connection with his appointment to the post of the Russian government chairman.

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