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Chinese president attends Russian Victory Day celebrations

MOSCOW, May 9 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Hu Jintao joined other state leaders here on Sunday in celebrations marking the 65th anniversary of Russia's victory in the Great Patriotic War against Nazi Germany.

Hu and other leaders took part in a series of celebrating activities, including a military parade at the Red Square, a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers, and a banquet hosted by President Dmitry Medvedev.

At 10:00 a.m. Moscow time (0600 GMT), the parade started when Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov and Moscow Military District Commander Valery Gerasimov inspected and saluted the troops with festival greetings.

Medvedev made an address at the beginning of the parade, saying "I congratulate you on the jubilee of the great victory."

"This war made us a strong nation ... We have won not simply a military victory but also a moral victory," he said.

The parade, which was accompanied by over 50 Russian and foreign military orchestras, is divided into the military personnel's march, the parade of military armaments on the ground and in the sky.

More than 10,000 personnel, 159 military armaments, 127 aircraft and helicopters participated in the Red Square parade.

Medvedev and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, were joined by leaders from over 20 countries, including China and Germany, at the Red Square to watch the grand parade that is the centerpiece of the weekend celebrations.

About 3,000 veterans of the Second World War and other domestic and foreign guests, attended the unprecedented celebrations.

On Saturday, Hu called for further strengthening of China-Russia ties while meeting with some Russian soldiers who helped China battle Japanese aggressor troops in the World Anti-Fascist War.

During his meeting with the Russian veterans, Hu said the Chinese people would never forget the Soviet Red Army's contributions to the success of China's Anti-Japanese War.

Many Russian soldiers and citizens sacrificed their lives for the liberation of the Chinese people, he said.

Fighting together against the Fascists, the Chinese and Russian peoples forged a profound friendship, he added.

"The friendship cemented with blood and people's lives lays a solid foundation for the China-Russia strategic relations of cooperation and partnership," Hu said.

It would also ensure the friendship between the two peoples will last for generations, he said, urging the two peoples to cherish the hard-won peace.

Hu also called for a correct view of history, saying the Soviet Union and China's contributions to victory in the World Anti-Fascist War are "ironclad."

In addition, he called for strengthened strategic coordination between China and Russia in a complex and volatile international situation.

Hu urged the two countries to jointly propose a new security concept featuring mutual trust and benefit, as well as equality and cooperation.

Although World War II ended 65 years ago, one must never forget the painful lessons of the war, he said.

"We call on the international community to establish and implement the new security concept, boost mutual trust, care for mutual interests, stick to friendly coordination, respect cultural diversification, and jointly seek cooperation and development," he said.

This was the second time for Hu to take part in Russia's Victory Day celebrations. In May 2005, the president attended ceremonies in Moscow marking the 60th anniversary of victory of the Great Patriotic War against Nazi Germany.

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