Beijing, 10 November 1997 (RFE/RL) -- Russian President Boris Yeltsin and Chinese President Jiang Zemin today described their relations as a "strategic partnership" following the signing of a joint border declaration. Yeltsin said Russia and China have developed what he called a "trusting relationship." But in a joint press conference, the two leaders rejected suggestions that Beijing and Moscow are banding together to offset U.S. global influence.
Today's border declaration overcomes disputes on implementing a 1991 treaty that maps out the common 4,300 kilometer border between Russia and China. The document postpones a decision on the sovereignty of three disputed islands on the Amur River.
Meanwhile, Chinese Vice Prime Minister Li Lanqing and Russian First Deputy Prime Minister Boris Nemtsov have signed a deal on a 3,000-kilometer natural gas pipeline from Kovyktin in Siberia to northeastern China. Yeltsin is scheduled tomorrow to visit Harbin, the capital of northeastern China's Heilongjiang province.
China also moved to boost weak trade ties with the purchase of five Russian-made M-171 helicopters.