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China's President To Visit Moscow

Chinese President Hu Jintao (file photo) 30 June 2005 (RFE/RL) -- China's President Hu Jintao has departed Beijing and is flying to Moscow today to start a four-day visit to Russia expected to focus on the boosting of energy and defense ties between the two countries.

Hu, who is due to hold talks with President Vladimir Putin and other leaders, said in an interview with Russia's ITAR-TASS news agency and Channel One television that China wants its trade with Russia to quadruple to up to $80 billion per year by 2010.

Reports say the Chinese leader is expected while in Moscow to lobby for a planned Russian oil pipeline to be routed from Siberia to northern China. Japan wants the pipeline routed to Russia's Pacific coast.

The Russian and Chinese sides are expected to sign a series of cooperation documents, as well as declaration, apparently directed at the United States, saying that a monopoly in international affairs is unacceptable. They are also expected to discuss ways of resuming the six-country talks over North Korea's nuclear-weapons development.

Hu is expected to visit the Russian city of Novosibirsk to attend a conference of Russian and Chinese governors before traveling on to Kazakhstan on 3 July.

He will attend a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) in Astana on 5-6 July.


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