Chinese President Wraps Up Eurasian Tour

Posted June 20th, 2011 at 5:25 pm (UTC-5)
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China's President Hu Jintao is returning to Beijing after wrapping up his Eurasian tour, which took him to Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine.

China's official news agency Xinhua reported that President Hu left Ukraine's capital Kyiv late Monday. Earlier in the day, the Chinese president and his Ukrainian counterpart Viktor Yanukovych oversaw the signing of $3.5 billion in business agreements.

The two countries agreed to boost cooperation in the energy, technology, agriculture and trade sectors.

Mr. Hu and Mr. Yanukovych also signed a joint statement upgrading relations between their two nations to what they called a “strategic partnership.”

Chinese news media have said the two countries are striving to increase their overall bilateral trade from just under $8 billion last year to $10 billion by 2012.

Mr. Hu's was the first visit by a Chinese head of state to Ukraine in 10 years.

He arrived in Ukraine from Russia, where he met with President Dmitry Medvedev in Moscow and attended an international economic forum in St. Petersburg. The two sides agreed to boost bilateral trade, but failed to reach an agreement on Russian gas exports to China.

Before Russia, the Chinese leader paid a three-day visit to Kazakhstan to upgrade bilateral ties. During the visit, he also attended a summit of the members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization in Astana. The organization marked its 10th anniversary and discussed development goals for the next decade.