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VLADIVOSTOK, Russia — 2006 is the Year of Russia in China; 2007 will be the Year of China in Russia — if the current friendly relationship of the leaders of the two countries lasts that long. Friendly relations are not something that the peoples of the two countries support that much.

Among the noncultural things that Russian President Vladimir Putin did in China recently was to sign agreements to build two pipelines to carry Russian gas to west China. This was just a week before the Chinese signed an agreement with Turkmenistan for another pipeline to carry even more gas to west China.

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