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    VLADIMIR PUTIN COMPLETES THREE-DAY VISIT TO CHINA

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    XIAN (CHINA), October 16 (RIA Novosti) - Russian President Vladimir Putin completes his three-day official visit to China.

    The Russian leader said the Beijing talks were a summit of "breakthrough decisions". An additional agreement on the eastern section of the Russian-Chinese border, the protocol on navigation of Russian and Chinese ships in a basin adjacent to Tarabarov and Bolshoi Ussuriisky islands, and the protocol on the joint use of the islands were signed following the meeting between Russian and Chinese Presidents Vladimir Putin and Hu Jintao.

    Having inked these documents, the two leaders finalized the delimitation of the Russian-Chinese 4,300 km-long border.

    We took a most important step and finally solved the border problem, Vladimir Putin told journalists. It took us almost 40 years, he added.

    According to him, the completion of the bilateral talks on Russia's accession to the World Trade Organization is another strategic result of his visit. This opens new prospects of trade and economic cooperation between our countries, the head of state noted.

    "This year our trade turnover may amount to $20 billion but still this is insufficient," he said.

    "We set realistic tasks to reach $60 billion in the next 5-6 years," the President continued. He believes that the Russian-Chinese trade turnover may total $100 billion in the future.

    In his opinion, energy, space, science and technology are most promising cooperation spheres.

    "The Russian-Chinese plan of actions for 2005-2008 is aimed at these tasks," Vladimir Putin stressed.

    New achievements in the humanitarian sphere are another important result of his visit, he continued. The sides agreed to proclaim 2006 the Year of Russia in China and 2007 the Year of China in Russia, Mr. Putin reported.

    On his part, the Chinese President highly assessed the Beijing talks, as well.

    In his words, Russian-Chinese partnership is the strategic choice of our countries.

    The sides expressed common positions on the development of overall political, economic and cultural cooperation, Hu Jintao noted.

    The Russian President arrived in China on October 14. In Beijing he held talks with his Chinese counterpart. After that, they signed bilateral documents.

    The two leaders also met with Russian students studying in China and Chinese students learning the Russian language.

    On Friday, October 15 Vladimir Putin discussed inter-parliamentary links with Wu Bangguo, chairman of the Standing Committee of the Chinese National People's Congress, and held economic negotiations with Premier of the Chinese State Council Wen Jiabao.

    After that, the Russian President met with heads of Russian and Chinese border regions. They considered economic cooperation and other issues.

    On Saturday Vladimir Putin accompanied by Vice Premier of the Chinese State Council Wu Yi visited the famous museum of terracotta soldiers. These soldiers were created to protect the tomb of Emperor Qin Shihuang. This is one of China's most prominent monuments located in the ancient capital of Xian. It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site.

    After an hour's tour of the museum, Vladimir Putin made a record in the honorary guest-book, "I thank you for all that has been done to preserve the memory of mankind. I congratulate all museum officials on the unique result".

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