Chinese President Hu Jintao left Beijing to attend the outreach session of the G-8 Summit as well as to exchange views with global leaders, including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and US President George W Bush, in Saint Petersburg, Russia.
At the outreach session on Monday, Hu will meet G-8 leaders to discuss energy security, prevention and control of epidemic diseases, education, African development and other topics.
Hu is scheduled to attend a group meeting of leaders of the six developing countries -- China, India, Brazil, South Africa, Mexico and Congo.
He will also attend the first summit meeting between of leaders of China, Russia and India which would be attended by Singh and Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In addition, Hu will conduct some bilateral meetings on the sidelines of the summit, including with Singh and Bush.
China attaches importance to G-8's significant role in international affairs, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Jiang Yu said.
Over the past years, China has strengthened its contact with G-8, she said, noting that this is the third time for Hu to participate in the G-8 Outreach Session.
"China is still a developing nation. We hope developed and developing nations can establish equal partnership in their cooperation, realise a mutually beneficiary and win-win result, and jointly cope with global challenge," she said.
"From the long perspective, a stronger cooperation between China and G-8 is in the interest of both sides, and conducive to world peace, stability and development. We are ready to strengthen our dialogue and cooperation with G-8 on the basis of equality and mutual benefit," Jiang commented.
The major agenda of the G-8 outreach session includes energy security, infectious disease prevention, education and Africa's development and trade.
"We think these problems need the urgent resolution... We hope the Outreach session can observe the principles of equality and mutual benefit, seeking common ground and shelving difference, pragmatism and activeness and cooperation promotion, so as to give a well balanced consideration to all parties, especially the developing nations, to step up international cooperation on relevant fronts," Jiang said.
"Meanwhile, we also hope to further develop our relations with relevant parties through our participation in this session," the spokesperson said.
Asked whether China would be willing to discuss the nuclear issues of Iran and North Korea, she pointed out that the outreach session of the G-8 Summit does not involve these topics. "We will respect the opinion of the host country -- Russia. Should the topic in your question be touched upon, China will express its position in that regard. We will urge a positive role of the discussion in solving this issue."
Among Hu's entourage to Russia are State Councillor Tang Jiaxuan, Foreign Minister Li Zhaoxing.
The G-8 members are Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia and the United States.