Russia's Medvedev arrives in China

26th September 2010, Comments 0 comments

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev arrived in the former Russian city of Dalian Sunday, kicking off a visit to China aimed at tightening ties with the world's second largest economy.

The Kremlin chief laid flowers at a memorial commemorating soldiers of the Russian-Japanese war of 1904-05 and World War II and was due to meet with Soviet and Chinese veterans.

Known in Russian as Dalny, the port of Dalian came under Moscow's control following a 25-year leasing agreement with imperial China in 1898.

The nearby naval base of Port Arthur, the scene of a fierce battle during the 1904-05 war, fell to the Japanese after a protracted siege.

The Soviet Union expelled the Japanese from Port Arthur in 1945 and ten years later handed over the base to China. Now known as Lushun, the former Port Arthur is part of Dalian.

The Lushun cemetery is the final resting place for thousands of Russian troops. Soviet-era tombstones topped with red stars sit on manicured lawns following a major face-lift ahead of the presidential visit.

Accompanied by top energy officials and business tycoons, the Russian president is on a three-day visit to China which will also take him to Beijing on Monday and Shanghai on Tuesday.

Medvedev and Chinese President Hu Jintao are set to oversee the signing of a raft of agreements including energy deals.

© 2010 AFP

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