Russia and China, once bitter foes during the Cold War, have praised their current relationship as their leaders concluded new cooperative pacts between the countries.
Russian President Dmitri Medvedev said Tuesday that Sino-Russian ties had reached their “highest point” ever as he ended a three-day state visit to China. Chinese Vice President Xi Jinping said it was the “best period in history” for Russian-Chinese relations.
The two countries celebrated the completion of a cross-border oil pipeline that links Russia, the world’s biggest oil producer, with China, the largest energy consumer. Russia is expected to send China $150 billion worth of oil over the next 20 years. They are working on a natural gas deal as well.
According to the Chinese state news agency Xinhua, the two countries also signed a pact supporting each other’s core territorial interests.
Russia said it supports China’s control of Taiwan, Tibet and Xinjiang, while China expressed approval of Russian efforts to “promote peace and stability” in the North Caucasus region, where Islamists are seeking to establish an independent Islamic state.
Russia and China also said they want to reach an agreement on reform of the International Monetary Fund in advance of the IMF’s next meeting in November in Seoul. The Group of 20 major economies agreed a year ago to alter its voting power in favor of fast-growing economies.
China and Russia relations were at a low point from the mid-1950s to the late 1980s as the two countries waged an intra-communist propaganda war. In 1969, the two countries engaged in a series of border clashes that were not formally ended until 2004.