Jing-dong Yuan, an associate professor of international policy studies at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, writes in The Moscow Times about Russian President Dmitry Medvedev’s upcoming state visit to China:
President Dmitry Medvedev’s two-day state visit to China has important symbolic significance. The visit, which starts Friday, will be the highlight of Medvedev’s first foreign trip since taking office in early May. Medvedev visited Kazakhstan on Thursday.
By accepting Chinese President Hu Jintao’s invitation to go east to Beijing, Medvedev is signaling the continuity of former President Vladimir Putin’s policy of maintaining close ties with China and further strengthening a strategic partnership. But the visit also provides Medvedev with an opportunity to chart a new course in relations, as well as to develop personal rapport with Chinese leaders.
Medvedev, who previously visited China as the co-chair of festivities celebrating the Year of Russia in China and the Year of China in Russia, will return to a country eager to expand cooperation in defense, trade and energy. Medvedev would do well to seize the moment.