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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Students, Lawmakers, Rockets for Hu

APChinese President Hu Jintao meeting with Federation Council Speaker Sergei Mironov and other senior lawmakers Wednesday.
Having completed 1 1/2 days of Kremlin talks, Chinese President Hu Jintao shifted to a somewhat lighter schedule Wednesday, traveling around town to meet with students and lawmakers and examine Russian-made rockets and space modules.

Hu began the third day of his first foreign trip as president with a speech to students at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations in western Moscow. He reaffirmed the vision he laid out Tuesday of a multipolar world and promised to follow in his predecessor's path in seeking closer ties with Russia.

"The trend toward a multipolar world is irreversible and dominant," Hu told the students.

He lashed out at unilateralism and the use of force, without directly criticizing what the Chinese media often describe as "American hegemony." But it was clear that he was referring to the United States.

"Peace and security should not be achieved through the use of force," said Hu, whose country teamed up with Russia, France and Germany to oppose the U.S.-led war in Iraq.

Hu then met in downtown Moscow with the speakers and several senior legislators of the State Duma and Federation Council. They discussed how to build contacts between Russian and Chinese lawmakers.

Hu also met with Prime Minister Mikhail Kasyanov.

Later Wednesday, Hu went to the Khrunichev space center in western Moscow for a first-hand look at the Proton rocket and FGB-2 space module.

Russian Aviation and Space Agency chief Yury Koptev has said Russia and China may sign an agreement to formalize their cooperation ahead of the planned launch of China's first astronaut in October.

However, no agreement was signed at Khrunichev because Hu was just taking a sightseeing tour, a Russian space official said.

Chinese Defense Minister Cao Gangchuan also was not planning to sign any deals during a meeting with officials from state arms exporter Rosoboronexport on Wednesday, Interfax reported. Reached by telephone, Rosoboronexport officials refused to comment.

Hu on Friday called for the modernization of China's armed forces of 2.5 million. China continues to lag behind Taiwan in high-tech weaponry despite having spent billions of dollars to procure arms from Russia and other countries. Among other things, China may want to upgrade dozens of basic Su-27 interceptors, defense analysts said.

Hu will return to the front line of international politics Thursday to participate in a Moscow summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, which includes Russia, China, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan. Leaders of the four Central Asian republics were to arrive in Moscow on Wednesday evening.

At the summit, the six countries will sign a raft of documents to transform the Shanghai Cooperation Organization into a "full-fledged international organization with its own budget and personnel, among other things," Deputy Foreign Minister Alexander Losyukov said this week.

Hu will go to St. Petersburg to attend celebrations marking the city's 300th anniversary this weekend.