Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Beijing to cement bilateral and international relations with China, especially on the issue of Syria.
Russian President Vladimir Putin met his Chinese counterpart, Hu Jintao in Beijing Tuesday. On the issue of Syria, they confirmed their support for UN envoy Kofi Annan's peace plan.
Putin added that China and Russia's interests "align perfectly in a great many areas, including in cooperating on the world stage, in economic and financial cooperation, high-tech, people and culture and other areas."
President Hu said closer cooperation would allow the two countries to "set the global political and economic order in a more fair and rational direction."
China's Foreign Ministry issued a televised statement confirming that China and Russia oppose foreign intervention or forced regime change in Syria: "On the Syrian issue, the two heads of state said the international community should continue to support the joint Arab League/UN Special Envoy Annan's mediation efforts and the UN monitoring mission, to promote a political solution to the problem in Syria."
At a daily news briefing, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said "Both sides oppose external intervention in Syria and oppose regime change by force."
Putin stays for regional summit
Putin is in Beijing for a regional summit starting Wednesday and is expected to meet with Hu's likely successor Vice President Xi Jinping, and the presidents of Iran and Afghanistan.
"We plan to increase cooperation in the framework of leading international organisations -- the United Nations, G20, BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation," Putin said after the talks. Hu had earlier made a similar comment.
The six member countries of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization are China, Russia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and the Kyrgyz Republic. Afghanistan will attend the meeting in Beijing as an observer for the first time.
China's Vice Foreign Minister, Cheng Guoping, said the situation in Afghanistan after the US troop withdrawal in 2014 was likely to be discussed.
Chinaand Russia signed agreements in trade, investment, nuclear power and banking.
However, a deal for Russia to supply China with gas was not signed, reportedly on a failure to agree the price. Putin said Russia hoped to export "great quantities" of gas to China in the near future.
jm/mz (Reuters, dpa, AFP)