Beijing: As western nations waited with
caution to react to Vladimir Putin`s landslide victory in the
Presidential elections, Russia`s neighbour China on Monday became
the first country to hail his sweeping win.
Chinese President Hu Jintao has sent a congratulatory
message to Putin, Foreign Ministry spokesman Liu Weimin said.
Putin, who spent the last four years as country`s Prime
Minister, yesterday declared his victory, returning for a
third term as President.
"China respects the choice of the Russian people and
supports Russia in taking a development mode that fits its own
domestic situation," Liu said at a briefing here.
"We believe Russia will maintain social and political
stability, continue economic development and play a greater
role in the international arena," Liu said.
China and Russia play as each other`s principal and most
important strategic and cooperative partner, Liu said.
China hopes that the two sides can further implement the
blueprints forged by the two leaderships on the development of
bilateral ties in the coming decade, he said, adding that by
doing so, the two countries can bolster a comprehensive
strategic partnership of cooperation.
According to the mechanism of annual exchange of visits
by Chinese and Russian heads of state, Russia`s president will
visit China in 2012.
"The two sides will keep close contact on that via
diplomatic channels," Liu said.