China, Russia state support for Iran, Syria
In high-level talks yesterday, leaders of China and Russia jointly opposed imposing unilateral sanctions on Iran, while expressing opposition to foreign intervention in Syria.
They also released a declaration on developing a strategic partnership, after Russian President Vladimir Putin met several Chinese leaders on the sidelines of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation summit: Vice-President Xi Jinping, who is expected to replace Hu Jintao as president next year; Premier Wen Jiabao ; Vice-Premier Li Keqiang; and China's top legislator, Wu Bangguo .
In talks between Hu and Putin on Tuesday, the leaders said their countries shared a lot of common interests and agreed on a wide range of international issues.
In addition to opposing excessive and unilateral sanctions on Iran, the two countries said in the declaration that they objected to the use of violence and threats against Iran.
The declaration said the nuclear issues involving Iran should be addressed through peaceful negotiations, adding that confrontations would lead only to serious consequences in the region and the international community.
Speaking in an interview released by Xinhua, Hu said nations should refrain from escalating the issue of Iran's nuclear programme.
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, who arrived in Beijing on Tuesday as an observer, discussed the issue in his meeting with Wen.
Wen said China was opposed to any country in the Middle East acquiring nuclear weapons, but he added that the Iranian nuclear issue should be addressed through diplomatic means. Ahmadinejad said he was thankful for China's respect of Iran's sovereignty.
In a speech at Peking University, Ahmadinejad accused 'a country' of creating disturbances and hatred in the international community.
Regarding Syria, Moscow and Beijing said they opposed use of external forces to tackle the crisis there.
Considered close allies of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, they have defied international calls to confront Damascus over its deadly crackdown on protesters. On Friday, the two voted against a resolution that condemned Syria's massacre of more than 100 civilians in the cluster of villages known as Houla.
The two countries vowed in the declaration that the international community should support the peace plan for Syria presented by the UN-Arab League's special envoy to Syria, Kofi Annan.
Putin, on the second day of his Beijing trip, pledged in his meeting with Xi that Russia would continue developing military ties with China, describing April's joint naval drill conducted by the two countries in the Yellow Sea as a success. 'We have agreed with Hu that we will continue such co-operation,' Putin told Xi.
Xi said it was essential for China and Russia to strengthen co-operation in international issues for global peace.