China's hard-line Communist Party leader bestowed a "socialist" blessing on the Soviet Union's perestroika reforms on Friday and said he intended to restore the close Chinese-Soviet cooperation of the 1950s.
Jiang Zemin, the first Chinese party chief to visit Moscow since 1957, attempted to lay to rest reports that Chinese leaders view President Mikhail S. Gorbachev's policies as a betrayal of Marxism-Leninism."China and the Soviet Union are two great, friendly, neighboring countries," a smiling Jiang told a Moscow news conference after three days of talks with Gorbachev and other top Soviet officials.
"Both countries have socialist systems. And I would like to say that each state has the right to its own way of building a socialist state, taking into consideration its specific circumstances."
Jiang will travel to Leningrad today for the final day of his four-day visit, which has been a largely symbolic celebration of the steady improvement in Chinese-Soviet relations.
On Friday morning, Jiang visited a Moscow automobile factory where he worked as a trainee in the 1950s.
The world's two largest communist countries were close allies in the 1950s but split in the 1960s over a border dispute.