(Reuters) - Russian President Dmitry Medvedev will visit China this week in a clear departure from a tradition under which Kremlin leaders made their maiden trips to Europe.
Here are some details about relations between Russia and China, where Communists came to power in 1949.
— Medvedev faces a difficult balancing act with China. It is a hungry customer for Russian mineral resources. But many in Russia’s elite view China’s growing economic, political and military clout with suspicion.
October 2, 1949 - Soviet Union recognizes Chinese People’s Republic just one day after it is proclaimed in Beijing.
February 15, 1950 - Soviet Union and China sign a Treaty on Friendship, Union And Mutual Assistance. Russia takes part in more than 160 industrial projects in China.
1950-1953 - Moscow and Beijing help communist North Korea in its war with South Korea and the West.
Early 1960s - Bilateral ties weaken and grind to a halt as two countries vie for supremacy in the communist world. Border clashes take place between Soviet and Chinese troops in 1969.
Late 1982 - Two countries restart dialogue on normalization of ties.
May 1989 - Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev visits China, agrees with Beijing’s paramount leader Deng Xiaoping on full normalization of relations.
May 1991 - Jiang Zemin visits Moscow as head of Chinese Communist party.
December 1991 - Russia, Ukraine and Belarus proclaim Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS), breaking up the Soviet Union.
December 1992 - Russian President Boris Yeltsin makes his first official visit to China.
September 1994 - Russia and China agree not to target each other with nuclear weapons. The two countries also sign an agreement on demarcation of the western part of their border. A pact on the eastern border was signed in May 1991.
May 1995 - Chinese President Jiang Zemin visits Moscow to take part in celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the Allied victory in World War Two.
July 2000 - New Russian President Vladimir Putin and Jiang cap a summit in Beijing with a joint statement saying missile shields for the U.S. and Asia threaten a new arms race.
July 2001 - Putin and Jiang sign a friendship pact to defend mutual interests and boost trade.
October 2004 - Russia and China sign a protocol finalizing border demarcation. Russian gas giant Gazprom and Chinese oil company CNPC sign a strategic partnership deal.
August 2005 - China and Russia hold their first joint military exercises.
March 2006 - Chinese President Hu Jintao and visiting Russian President Putin agree to extend energy cooperation.
March 2007 - Commercial deals worth $4 billion are signed to crown Chinese President Hu’s visit to Russia. Putin says bilateral trade grew five-fold from 2000 to around $30 billion.
May 2008 - New Russian President Dmitry Medvedev makes first foreign trips to Kazakhstan and China.