Hu hails deeper co-operation on visit to Ukraine
President Hu Jintao has met his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovych at the start of a three-day state visit aimed at deepening bilateral co-operation with the Eastern European nation.
'China is ready to work with Ukraine to promote bilateral co-operation and exchanges in a comprehensive and extensive way,' Hu said during the meeting.
Hu said that the two countries should work to carry on the friendship between their two peoples into a new generation.
Hu expressed his appreciation for the fact that the Ukrainian government sees its relations with China as its foreign policy priority.
It was the first visit in 10 years by a Chinese president to the resource-rich country.
Energy has been at the top of the agenda for Hu's tour of Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine. China and Russia failed to finalise a gas supply deal in time for Hu's summit in Moscow last week, but Hu stressed the importance of energy co-operation after meeting Dmitry Medvedev, his Russian counterpart.
China and Kazakhstan have also agreed to co-operate on nuclear and alternative energy, including solar and wind power.
Hu met Yanukovych in the southern Black Sea port of Yalta, on Saturday evening.
After the meeting, Hu attended a dinner party hosted by Yanukovych, before flying to Kiev, the Ukranian capital, to continue his visit.
During the visit, Hu is also due to meet Volodymyr Lytvyn, chairman of Ukraine's parliament, the Verkhovna Rada, and Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov.
The two sides will exchange views on regional and international issues of common concern.
Last September, Yanukovych paid a state visit to China and had talks with Hu.
The two leaders expressed their willingness to lift the friendly and co-operative China-Ukraine relationship to a new level.
They also promised to strive to increase the volume of trade between the two countries to US$10 billion by next year.
Last year, the two-way trade volume between China and Ukraine amounted to US$7.7, a 33 per cent increase year on year.
During a meeting with Azarov on Hainan Island two months ago, Hu said that China hoped the two countries could implement major co-operative projects and improve co-operation in science, technology and agriculture.
Hu flew to Ukraine from St Petersburg, Russia, where he attended the St Petersburg International Economic Forum.
Hu has also attended a summit of the Shanghai Co-operation Organisation summit in the Kazakh capital of Astana as part of his tour.