Tour put relations at 'new stage'
PREMIER Li Peng's visit to Russia, Belarus and the Ukraine has been hailed as marking a 'new stage' in relations with all three countries.
Mr Li returned yesterday from his week-long tour, during which he signed a host of commercial agreements, including one for Russian co-operation in building a nuclear power plant in China.
The People's Daily said the visit 'pushed the co-operative relations between China and the three countries to a new stage in terms of both range and depth'.
The paper stressed that the economic, trade and technological sectors in all four countries were 'highly complimentary' and provided enormous potential for greater co-operation.
During his visit to Moscow, Mr Li and his Russian counterpart, Viktor Chernomyrdin, signed eight agreements, including one covering the construction of the nuclear plant in the northeastern Chinese province of Liaoning.
Welcoming an agreement to promote peace on the Sino-Russian border, the editorial said friendly relations between the two neighbours 'serves not only their fundamental interests, but also the lofty cause of world peace and development'.
Given the current state of flux in international relations, consultations and co-operation on regional issues and United Nations affairs 'are very important and necessary'.
Both China and Russia are permanent members of the UN Security Council.
Mr Li's visit to Russia, which followed a Chinese trip by Mr Chernomyrdin in May 1994, continued a process of detente begun in 1989, when former Russian president Mikhail Gorbachev's visit ended a three-decade ideological rift between China and the former Soviet Union.