by Staff Writers
Beijing (AFP) Nov 21, 2012
Chinese President Hu Jintao vowed Wednesday to continue to develop solid relations with Russia after talks with visiting Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu, state media said.
Official Chinese news agency Xinhua said Hu in the meeting with Moscow's new defence chief had called for the neighbours to boost their relationship to a "new high".
"No matter how the international situation and domestic conditions of the two countries change, China will not alter its principles and guidelines on developing ties with Russia," Hu said, according to Xinhua.
It was the first visit to China for Shoigu -- a close ally of Russian President Vladimir Putin -- since being named to the defence ministry post earlier this month.
China and Russia have had an uneasy relationship dating from when each jostled to dominate the communist world, but have presented a united front against the West in recent years as permanent members of the UN Security Council, seeking to block Western-backed action on Iran and Syria.
Hu on Wednesday said development of bilateral ties over the past decade has been "unprecedented", according to Xinhua.
Friction remains between the two neighbours in key areas, however, including energy cooperation, with the two countries for years failing to sign off on a huge natural gas deal, which has stalled due to pricing disagreements.
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