Chinese and Russian leaders meet frequently, but last week was special. President Hu Jintao of China and President Dmitry Medvedev of Russia conferred three times over the course of four days -- at the June 15-16 Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Yekaterinburg, then later on June 16 at the first-ever heads-of-state meeting of the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India, and China), and again afterwards when Hu made a state visit to Moscow from June 16-18.
Hu's visit helped mark the 60th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Moscow and Beijing. It coincided with the signing of over 40 contracts worth some $3 billion between Chinese and Russian business leaders, as well as a lengthy -- if largely boilerplate -- joint statement reaffirming the two countries' general desire to cooperate further in the future.
One interesting section expanded upon how the two governments usually pledge mutual support for their sovereignty and territorial integrity. The Russian government explicitly affirmed that Tibet along with Taiwan are "inalienable parts of the Chinese territory," while the Chinese supported "Russia's efforts in maintaining peace and stability in the region of Caucasus," which might be read as including Georgia in the South Caucasus, in addition to Chechnya and the other troubled Russian provinces in the North Caucasus.