Russia's Vladimir Putin Visits China's Xi Jinping to Strengthen Economic, Political Ties Amid US Global Dominance

By Jace Dela Cruz

May 16, 2024 06:39 AM EDT

Russia's President Vladimir Putin arrived in Beijing on Thursday for a two-day state visit that will include talks with China's President Xi Jinping to deepen the strategic partnership between the two countries perceived as enemies of the United States.

According to Reuters, Putin's visit will include talks with Xi on Ukraine, Asia, energy, technology, economic relations, and trade.

China's President Xi Jinping (R) and Russia's President Vladimir Putin attend the opening ceremony of the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing on October 18, 2023.
(Photo : PEDRO PARDO/AFP via Getty Images)

Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping Highlight Strategic Partnership of Russia and China

During their initial meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, Xi Jinping told Vladimir Putin that "the China-Russia relationship today is hard-earned," and both sides need "to cherish and nurture it." 

Xi added that China was willing to work with Russia "to achieve the development and rejuvenation" of their countries and "to uphold fairness and justice in the world."

On the other hand, Putin, whom Xi greeted with full military honors at the Great Hall of the People, told the Chinese president that their partnership was a "stabilizing" force for the world, was "not opportunistic," and "not directed against anyone," Russia's RIA Novosti news agency reported.

During an interview with China's Xinhua news agency before his departure, the Russian president, who started his fifth term in office last week, commended Xi for building a strategic partnership with Russia, which he said was grounded on national interests, mutual trust, and principles of equality.

"It was the unprecedentedly high level of the strategic partnership between our countries that determined my choice of China as the first state that I would visit after taking office as president," Putin told Xinhua.

"We will try to establish closer cooperation in industry and high-tech, outer space and peaceful atom, artificial intelligence, renewable energy and other innovative sectors. We will keep working to provide favourable legal and organizational conditions for that and develop transport and financial infrastructure. I believe that Russian-Chinese economic ties have great prospects," he added.

According to Putin, Russia and China have similar positions on many international issues.

"We advocate for the primacy of international law, equal, indivisible, comprehensive and sustainable security at both the global and regional level with the UN's central coordinating role," Putin was quoted as saying by Xinhua.

"We also reject Western attempts to impose an order based on lies and hypocrisy, on some mythical rules of no one knows whose making," he added.

Putin also told the Chinese news agency that Russia was willing and ready to negotiate on the war in Ukraine. He said Russia has "never refused to negotiate," but "such negotiations must take into account the interests of all countries involved in the conflict, including ours."

READ NEXT: Vladimir Putin Issues Rare Apology for the Price of Eggs as Russia's Inflation Soars

Delegation of Russia's President Vladimir Putin to China

Vladimir Putin's visit to China reportedly includes informal discussions over tea and dinner with senior officials of both nations later on Thursday.

Putin is accompanied by a group of senior diplomats and officials, namely newly appointed Defense Minister Andrei Belousov, Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, Security Council Secretary Sergei Shoigu, Foreign Policy Adviser Yuri Ushakov, and some of Russia's top CEOs.

Beijing has claimed that it was a neutral player in the Ukraine war. However, it has economically and politically backed Moscow and refuses to condemn its invasion of Ukraine. 

China has issued a 12-point peace plan to end the war in Ukraine, which was supported by Kremlin, but criticized by the US and Western allies as it was too supportive of Russia. Ukraine, on the other hand, expressed openness to the proposal if Russia would pull back its troops from its territory. 

READ MORE: Russia Could Turn Against Vladimir Putin as Economic Strength Wanes and Western Sanctions Heighten, Economists Warn

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