China says Russia border deal example for world

BEIJING (Reuters) - China and Russia on Tuesday unveiled boundary markers delineating the eastern section of their border, hailing the agreement as an example for the rest of the world in solving territorial disputes.

China and Russia in July signed a pact that finally settled the demarcation of their 4,300-km (2,672-mile) border, the scene of armed clashes at the height of the Cold War, and on Tuesday confirmed it had officially taken effect.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Qin Gang said the resolution of the dispute was a lesson for the world.

“The experience of China and Russia in settling these remaining border disputes further shows that peaceful dialogue and fair and reasonable consultation on equal basis is an effective way,” Qin told a news conference. “This sets an example for the international community.”

Russia is eager to boost exports of oil, gas and nuclear products to China, the world’s second biggest consumer of oil and power, though China’s growing world clout is watched with some anxiety by Moscow’s elite.

Russia, whose $1.3 trillion economy is booming for a tenth straight year, has forged close ties with China on a number of world issues, including Iran and North Korea.

But relations over the past century have run hot and cold.

China and the Soviet Union went from being best friends in the 1950s to suspicious rivals a decade later when they fought a series of border skirmishes after falling out over ideological principles.

The two countries signed an agreement on demarcation of the eastern part of their border in 1991, followed by a supplementary agreement in 2004. A pact on the western border was signed in 1994.

The two sides unveiled the boundary markers in the northeast Chinese province of Heilongjiang.

Reporting by Chris Buckley; Writing by Nick Macfie; Editing by Jeremy Laurence