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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Putin Finds Common Ground with China's Foreign Minister

The Russian and Chinese governments Friday stressed their common desire for a "multipolar world" -- one not dominated by the United States -- and vowed to bolster economic ties that President Vladimir Putin said were already improving fast.

Putin met with Chinese Foreign Minister Yang Jiechi, a former ambassador to the United States who suggested the trip to Moscow less than three months after his appointment, underscoring Moscow's importance for Beijing.

"In the past few years, thanks to great contributions by our leaders and our governments, great positive changes have occurred in bilateral relations, taking our strategic partnership further," Yang told Putin in talks at Putin's Novo-Ogaryovo residence outside Moscow.

Relations "have reached an especially high level," Putin said, adding the volume of bilateral trade was increasing by up to 43 percent annually.

Following a meeting with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Yang said close relations between Russia and China help "foster the creation of a multipolar world and the democratization of international relations," which he said both countries believe are "the most important trends in history."

"Efforts to create a new, more fair world order" were at the forefront of cooperation between Russian and China in international affairs, Lavrov said.

Lavrov said they agreed to work faster toward agreement on shared water resources, and he stressed the need to update migration regulations.

Residents of Russia's sparsely populated eastern regions are concerned about the expanding presence of Chinese migrants. A 2005 chemical spill in northern China sent poisoned water flowing into the Amur River -- which divides the two countries -- and into Russia, straining bilateral relations.

The two countries are slated to participate in a major military exercise next month along with other members of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization.