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Chinese President Hu Jintao (file photo) 1 July 2005 (RFE/RL) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin sits down for formal talks today with visiting Chinese President Hu Jintao.

The Chinese leader arrived in Moscow on 30 June on a four-day visit aimed at boosting bilateral ties, especially in trade.

The two met for informal discussions last night at Putin's residence outside the Russian capital.

Putin called Hu a "friend," and said there had been "noticeable progress" in political and economic relations.

Hu told ITAR-TASS trade between China and Russia could jump from the current $20 billion to $80 billion by 2010.

The two leaders are also due to sign a declaration reaffirming their nations' call for respecting international law and establishing a stronger UN role internationally.

(ITAR-TASS)

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China's President To Visit Moscow
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