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Handover of Russian islands to China seen as effective diplomacy

RIA Novosti

14/10/2008 13:40 BEIJING, October 14 (RIA Novosti) - The settlement of the border issue between Russia and China is an example of using a diplomatic solution to solve tough international issues, the Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman said on Tuesday.

Russia transferred on Tuesday the Yinlong (Tarabarov) Island, half of the Heixiazi (Bolshoi Ussuriysky) Island and the Bolshoi Island on the Argun River in the Chita Region, East Siberia to China as part of an addendum to an agreement on the Russian-Chinese border. The agreement was signed back on September 14, 2004, by the then Russian president Vladimir Putin and Chinese leaders.

Qin Gang said: "China and Russia have solved the issue through peaceful and fruitful cooperation setting an example of using peaceful dialogue and consultations to settle sensitive issues between the two countries."

"The border issue historically inherited by Russia and China has been finally settled in full," the Russian Finance Ministry said in a statement, adding that the two countries' border guards have started to control the newly established border.

In the Soviet era, when there were tensions between Beijing and Moscow, the Tarabarov and Bolshoi Ussuriysky islands were of strategic importance in sheltering Khabarovsk, a Russian Far Eastern city, from a potential military attack.

The Bolshoi Ussuriysky Island also became a powerful stronghold during the Soviet period.

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