During his eight years as Russian president from May 2000 to May 2008, Vladimir Putin attached great importance to his country's Strategic Partnership of Cooperation with China. Putin and Chinese President Hu Jintao paid state visits on alternate years, and the countries' prime ministers held regular meetings to discuss and exchange views on international and regional affairs. These instances of frequent direct contact led to a firm friendship and accelerated bilateral cooperation in various respects. The two countries signed dozens of documents and treaties on coordination.
In 2001, China and Russia, together with four other member countries, founded the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, an international mutual-security group. As the two leading nations in the organization, China and Russia signed the Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation in July 2001, pledging to be good neighbors, partners and friends.
In line with the established principles and norms of international law and spirit of mutual understanding, China and Russia issued a joint statement in October 2004, announcing that they had settled the historic dispute concerning their 4,300-km border and signed the Supplementary Agreement on the Eastern Section of the Boundary. The settlement of the boundary issue created favorable conditions for further cooperation on environment protection and the reasonable use of natural resources.
The two countries also gave their mutual support for their respective memberships in the World Trade Organization, China's bid for 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing and Russia's bid for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.
With their economies expanding in recent years, the two governments focused on restructuring industry and reorganizing enterprises, taking full advantage of technology, capital and management expertise to nurture lasting bilateral development. The Sino-Russian aggregate trade volume in 2007 exceeded $48.1 billion, or more than 30 percent of cumulative growth during the last eight consecutive years.
China and Russia also conducted constructive consultations on energy utilization, involving gas, oil and nuclear energy. Last year, the China National Petroleum Cooperation and Russia's OAO Rosneft Oil Company agreed to set up a joint venture in Tianjin, a port city in north China. The refinery project was designed to process 10 million tons of oil a year.
Russia is a land of sophisticated science and technology and has a large talent pool. Russian technology played a part in China's launch of the Shenzhou 5 and Shenzhou 6 spacecraft. Building on this, the two governments reached a consensus on the peaceful use of outer space and collaboration in ship manufacturing, telecommunications and forestry resource exploration.
So far, the two countries have established nearly 70 pairs of sister provinces and regions or twin cities, including Beijing and Moscow, and Shanghai and Saint Petersburg, where extensive exchanges and cooperation in many fields are vibrant and vigorous.
Key Bilateral Documents
July 2000: Beijing Declaration and Joint Statement on the Issue of Anti-ballistic Missiles
July 2001: Treaty of Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation
May 2003: Joint Statement on Promoting Bilateral Trade and Economic Relations
July 2005: Joint Statement Regarding the International Order of the 21st Century
July 2005: Joint Communiqué on Strengthening Strategic Cooperation on International Events
March 2006: Joint Statement Declaring That the Two Countries Had Resolved Their Border Issue
January 2008: Agreement on the Reasonable Utilization and Protection of Trans-boundary Waters
Source: Xinhua News Agency
2004 Friendship Year for Chinese-Russian Youth
There were 100-member youth exchange visits and a competition called "Knowledge on Russia" to promote an understanding of Russia among young Chinese.
2006 Year of Russia in China
Folk songs and ballet shows evoked much nostalgia and enthusiasm from the Chinese audience.
Confucius Institutes in Russia
Ten Confucius Institutes were set up in Russia by the end of 2007 to promote Chinese culture and language.
2007 Year of China in Russia
Russians received a comprehensive look at China through stunning acrobatic performances, Peking opera and martial arts performances.