7 September 2012, 14:47

Russia, China strike accord at APEC meetings

Russia, China strike accord at APEC meetings

President Vladimir Putin has met with his Chinese counterpart Hu Jintao on the sidelines of the APEC Summit in Vladivostok. The meeting, which took place on Friday, has become the second between the Russian and Chinese heads of state in the past three months.

Vladimir Putin and Hu Jintao, who met behind closed doors, focused on bilateral relations and discussed the international agenda. Experts say the two leaders could have hammered out a position on Syria, particularly since the crisis in Syria will top the agenda of the forthcoming meeting between Russia’s Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton in Vladivostok.

Hu Jintao might have briefed President Putin on the outcome of Chinese-American consultations which took place in Beijing a few weeks ago. As relations between China and the US have strained over the Pentagon’s plans to create an Asian segment of the global missile defense system, experts do not rule out that Russia and China could work out a joint response to the US moves.

Moscow and Beijing may also exchange opinion on the situation in the Korean Peninsula and North East Asia in general following their efforts to get North Korea to join the six-party talks on its nuclear program.

Exchanges between Russia and China become particularly relevant given that shortly before Putin’s meeting with Hu Jintao it became clear that Japan’s Prime Minister Yoshihiko Noda wouldn’t meet with either President Hu or President Lee Myung-bak of South Korea. The decision was prompted by a territorial dispute over a number of islands and areas in the East China Sea and in the Sea of Japan.

As he greeted his Chinese counterpart, President Putin spoke highly of Russia’s friendly and trustful relations with China.

"The Russian-Chinese relations have hit a fairly high level. To a larger extent, this is the result of friendship promotion efforts on the part of the Chinese president. The Chinese leadership and the Chinese people alike are set on developing bilateral ties with Russia."

In his turn, Hu Jintao praised Russia’s skills in organizing the APEC summit and referred to Vladimir Putin as a “friend”. The Chinese leader was impressed by the changed look of Russky Island, where the APEC Summit Week is being held.

"All this attests to the importance of the APEC summit for Russia and Russia’s huge potential for development. Undoubtedly, the summit will be successful, due to Russia’s current presidency in it and our joint efforts."

A large group of Chinese entrepreneurs has arrived in Vladivostok. Chinese businessmen are interested in projects that Russia has offered its APEC partners for the period of its APEC presidency. The projects in question envisage an improvement of Russian transport infrastructure and investments in the farming sector for addressing food security in Asia.

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