As the newly elected President of Russia, Vladimir Putin has begun a three-day visit to Beijing for high-level meetings with Chinese officials, leading into a summit meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Beijing on Thursday. President Putin spent his first day meeting with the Chinese President, Hu Jintao, in order to stake out a long-term strategic partnership. A set of 20 agreements were signed. A joint communique was issued, in which there was a call for a new security concept in the Asia-Pacific region.
At the press conference at the conclusion of their meeting, both Presidents stressed that this meeting was the beginning of a new phase in the relationship of the two countries. President Hu, speaking first, said, "We will enhance cooperation on international issues. We will expand economic cooperation and enhance infrastructure development." He said, "We will cooperate on military and regional stability, increasing the integration and cooperation of our military forces." "Both sides believe we must cooperate on international issues to preserve the peace," Hu said. "Based on the complexity of the global environment, we will enhance our cooperation in the UN and other international bodies, pushing the world in a more just direction.".
Putin thanked President Hu for the warm greeting he had received. "China is the strategic partner of the Russian Federation," Putin said. "In all spheres, our relationship is based on mutual benefit and with the highest level of trust and openness. In the political sphere, we operate on the highest level of mutual trust, showing each other firm support on key issues affecting the vital interests of the two countries and the two peoples."
Putin said the two would sign 20 agreements, including agreements on nuclear energy, investment, and finance. Putin underlined that all the agreements signed in the area of energy will be fully implemented. He reiterated the Russian intent of increasing the export of high-technology products, mentioning sales of helicopters and other aviation equipment. He welcomed Chinese investment in Russia's program for developing the Far East and in eastern Siberia, and indicated his preparedness to implement the colloborative efforts with the development program in China's northeastern provinces bordering that region.
Putin concluded his remarks with something of a challenge to the "Asia pivot" of the Obama regime, in which Obama hopes to mobilize the Asian nations against China — and Russia.
"Dear ladies and gentlemen," said Putin, "in the course of our meeting we exchanged views on issues of global and regional interest. Our two nations have consistently come forward in the formulation of a just world order, uniting the strength of all governments in the struggle against contemporary threats, among these, the threats of terrorism, extremism, the spread of weapons of mass destruction, and large-scale economic crises. To this end, we are intent on increasing our cooperation within the bounds of the UN, the G20, BRICS, and the SCO. We will actively work for an all-around unification of the Asia-Pacific region."
In that context, Putin noted, the military cooperation of the two nations played an important role in the security of the Asia-Pacific region, underlining that this cooperation would be increased. The two sides would work, he said, to develop in the region "an open and just architecture of defense and cooperation, based on the principles of international law." Putin also noted that the two had discussed the situation in the Middle East, in North Africa, and on the Korean peninsula. In the joint communique signed by the two presidents after their meeting, there was a call for a new security concept in the Asia-Pacific region.