BEIJING, December 7. /TASS/. The Chinese government respects the personal decision made by Russian President Vladimir Putin to run for president in 2018 and highly appreciates his role in the development of Russian-Chinese relations, Chinese Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Geng Shuang told reporters at a press briefing on Thursday.
"The presidential election is the purview of Russia’s domestic policy, but we respect President Putin’s personal decision to take part in it," he said. "China firmly supports Russia’s policy aimed at maintaining stability and development. We believe that the Russian presidential election will end successfully."
"As for China’s assessment of Putin’s role in developing ties between Russia and China, I believe everyone can clearly see that relations of comprehensive strategic partnership between Russia and China have reached a new unprecedented historical level. This goes hand in hand with the personal role of the two countries’ leaders," Geng Shuang went on to say.
"China is determined to follow the same path with Russia and, in light of the consensus reached by the two countries’ leaders, to continuously develop the relations of comprehensive strategic partnership and cooperation between Russia and China," he concluded.
On December 6, Putin said at a meeting with veterans and workers of the automobile plant GAZ in Nizhny Novgorod that he would contest another presidential term in 2018.
Russia’s presidential election is due on March 18, 2018. The election campaign will begin officially between December 7 and 17.