Jiang Zemin, the first Chinese Communist Party chief to visit the Soviet Union since 1957, met with President Mikhail S. Gorbachev Wednesday and began talks expected to partially settle a border dispute.
Jiang's four-day visit was expected to be a largely symbolic celebration of two years of increasing contacts initiated by Gorbachev's trip to Beijing in May 1989.The two Communist giants were allies in the 1950s but split in the 1960s over a border dispute and rivalry within the world Communist movement. China was irritated at being regarded the "little brother" to the Soviets.
At a brief airport news conference in Beijing prior to his departure, Jiang said he expected to sign an agreement to partially settle the border conflict.
Soviet Vice President Gennady Yanayev and the deputy chief of the Communist Party, Vladimir Ivashko, met Jiang at Moscow's VIP Vnukovo Airport.
Jiang was then whisked by limousine to the Kremlin, where he met Gorbachev in the ornate St. George's Hall. The Chinese leader was accorded the highest diplomatic honors, including guest quarters in a 19th century Kremlin palace once used by visiting relatives of the czars.