The presidents of Russia and China have vowed to strengthen their strategic partnership and have declared common positions on a several key foreign policy issues.
Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Jiang Zemin signed a joint declaration in Beijing Monday, promising to seek diplomatic solutions in Iraq and North Korea. They also vowed to support each other's fight against Muslim separatists.
The two called on North Korea and the United States to renew contacts and stick to a nuclear agreement they signed eight years ago. They said the United States ought to engage the Stalinist government in Pyongyang by seeking to normalize relations.
Both Mr. Putin and Mr. Jiang noted what they called the extreme importance of the 1994 accord under which North Korea agreed to halt its nuclear program in exchange for energy assistance from a U-S-led consortium.
The United States and its allies suspended fuel oil shipments to North Korea this month after Pyongyang admitted to a visiting U-S Official that it had a nuclear arms program.
Mr. Putin also met with Vice President Hu Jintao, who replaced President Jiang as Communist party leader last month. The Russian leader praised Mr. Hu for his work as vice president in helping to build on their countries' strong relationship.