Wary about US moves, China, Russia pledge to priorities ties

As US Defence Secretary Leon Panetta arrived in New Delhi to firm up military ties, a wary China on Tuesday rolled out red-carpet for Russian President Vladimir Putin in a bid to court Moscow to counter the big US naval push into Asia Pacific to checkmate Beijing.

Not since the 1961 Sino-Soviet spat which vertically split the Communist movements all around the world, the visit of a Russian leader made such a buzz in China as that Putin's even though this is his eighth tour to Beijing ever since he first came to power in 2000.

As Putin arrived this morning on a state visit to hold talks with Chinese leaders and to participate the 12 th Shanghai Cooperation Summit, (SCO) the state-run CCTV virtually covered the event live.

Top leaders of the two countries are expected to discuss the expansion of bilateral cooperation in various fields, Lavrov said in an interview.

The two countries pledge to prioritise their relations, state-run Xinhua news agency reported after the meeting between Putin and President Hu Jintao.

The discussions reportedly focussed on the two countries to strengthen their, political, economic and military ties besides coordinating their stand on international issues like Syria and Iran.

"President (Putin) and I have agreed to continue treating the development of bilateral relations as a diplomatic priority," Hu said after a closed-door meeting with the Russian leader.

"China-Russia relations have maintained positive, healthy and stable development in recent years through the joint efforts of both sides," Hu said. Officials from both Russia and China are going to sign a joint communique on relations and their entrepreneurs will sign a number of agreements, he said.

Hu said he is sure that Putin's visit will further promote the two countries' comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination.