, BEIJING, Jun 6 – A closer China-Russia relationship benefits the world as well as the two nations, Chinese President Hu Jintao said in a written interview to the media organizations from the six Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) member states.
Russia is China’s most important partner of strategic coordination, and the development of relations between the two countries remains healthy and positive, Hu said in the interview conducted prior to the opening of the 12th Meeting of the Council of Heads of Member States of the SCO, which will take place on Wednesday and Thursday in Beijing.
Russian President Vladimir Putin started a state visit to China Tuesday, right ahead of the SCO summit and a month after he started a historic third term.
China and Russia have safeguarded the common interests of both sides and defended the tenets of the UN Charter and the norms of international relations with closer coordination and cooperation in handling regional and international issues, Hu said.
Political mutual trust has increased as Moscow and Beijing stand firm in supporting each other on issues concerning the two nations’ core interests, the president said.
Trade between the two countries hit a record high of nearly 80 billion US dollars in 2011, and cooperation on a number of major strategic projects are underway or being negotiated, said Hu.
An ambitious goal has been set by the two countries to realize 100 billion US dollars of bilateral trade in 2015 and 200 billion dollars in 2020, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Sunday.
Hu said he believes President Putin’s state visit to China will be a success, which will inject new vigour for deepening cooperation between the two countries in various fields.
Founded in Shanghai on June 15, 2001, the SCO groups China, Russia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.