China and Russia ended 40 years of border disputes, signing a document formally delineating the entirety of their shared 4,345 km border. The document was inked on the first day of a three-day state visit to China by Russian President Vladimir Putin. Border disputes between the two countries were at their height in the 1960s and 70s when a series of violent clashes led to fears of all-out, possibly nuclear war. In a joint statement Putin and Chinese President Hu Jintao said the accord would "create more favorable conditions for the long-term, healthy and stable development of China-Russia strategic partnership of cooperation." Meanwhile in a separate agreement, China formally gave its backing to Russia's bid to join the World Trade Organization, adding its weight to support already given by the European Union and South Korea.
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