Russian President Dmitry Medvedev arrived in northeast China for an official visit on Sunday saying that Moscow’s ties with Beijing were “sealed by blood” spilled fighting a common enemy.
Medvedev kicked off a three-day visit to the world’s second biggest economy by visiting the former Russian city of Dalian and paying respects to fallen Russian soldiers who died defending the port from Japanese invaders.
“Friendship with China is Russia’s strategic choice, it’s a choice that was sealed by blood years ago,” Medvedev told Russian and Chinese war veterans.
“The friendship between Russian and Chinese peoples cemented by the military events will be indestructible and do good for our future generations.
“For Russia and China the memory of those events is sacred.”
In the presence of the veterans and Li Min, the 71-year-old daughter of Chinese revolutionary Mao Zedong, the Kremlin chief laid flowers at a monument commemorating the Russian-Japanese war of 1904-05 and World War II.
Accompanied by top energy officials and business tycoons, Medvedev is slated to meet Chinese President Hu Jintao in Beijing on Monday and oversee the signing of a raft of agreements including energy deals.
Russia is keen to diversify its energy supplies and has been in talks with China, the world’s largest energy consumer, over gas deliveries.
Medvedev’s visit to the city known in Russian as Dalny also comes as China is entangled in a bitter territorial dispute with Japan.