Asia Minute: Economics, Diplomacy and Military Exercises in Russia's Asia Pacific

Mikhail Metzel  TASS

But Russian President Vladimir Putin made a surprise proposal at the forum yesterday: He wants to reach a peace deal "without any preconditions" by the end of the year.

This story has been sourced from a third party syndicated feed, agencies.

China this month is sending 3,200 troops and about 900 weapons units to take part in the biggest Russian military exercises since the Cold War.

"It seems to me counterproductive if we demand everything from the North Korean side and in response they are given nothing", he said at an event with China's Xi Jinping and Japan's Shinzo Abe.

Trade representatives from Japan and Russia are gathering this week in the Russian port city of Vladivostok as part of an annual economic forum.

"You and I work together most closely", Xi told Putin.

The two leaders attended commemoration events marking the 10-year anniversary of the center's hosting of hundreds of Chinese children from regions hit by a deadly natural disaster in 2008.

Chinese President Xi Jinping will meet with Russian President Vladimir Putin next week in a sign of strengthening ties between the two Asian giants.

Putin's predecessor, Dmitry Medvedev travelled to Kunashir in 2010, becoming the first Russian leader to visit the disputed islands and provoking fury in Tokyo.

China and Japan should jointly push forward regional integration and build a peaceful, stable and prosperous Asia, Xi said.

"(China) is the flawless instrument to project Russia as a resurgent global power, so essentially the Russia narrative is that China, Russia and to a lesser extent India, are part of this new dynamic world order", he said.

The U.S. administration is relying partly on Section 301 of the Trade Act of 1974 to prevent what it claims are unfair trade practices and theft of intellectual property.

Against this backdrop of concerns over rising United States tensions, warmer ties between Xi and Putin have been exhaustively covered by domestic media in both countries.

"It also sends a signal to Washington, DC, saying that if the US continues on its current course by pressuring Russian Federation and imposing more sanctions, Russian Federation will fall even more into the firm embrace of China, America's only strategic competitor in the 21st century". The two have met almost 30 times, and Putin said that the Chinese president is the only world leader whom he once invited to celebrate his birthday.

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