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Putin says Chinese leader Jiang Zemin was a ‘dear friend’ to Russia: Kremlin

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President Vladimir Putin said Wednesday that former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin — who was hailed as a great communist revolutionary and was announced by Beijing to have died earlier — was a “dear friend” to Russia.

“As a dear friend of our country, Jiang Zemin made an invaluable contribution to the development of Russian-Chinese relations… the bright memory of such an authoritative politician and a wonderful person will forever remain in my heart,” Putin said in a message of condolence to Chinese leader Xi Jinping, according to a Kremlin statement.

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Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French state-owned international news agency based in Paris. It is the world's oldest news agency, having been founded in 1835 as Havas.

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