Saturday, July 13, 2024

Xi tells Putin China ready to uphold global justice with Russia

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Chinese President Xi Jinping told Russian President Vladimir Putin on Thursday in Beijing his country is ready to work with Moscow to uphold fairness and justice in the world, the Chinese Foreign Ministry said, apparently referring to their opposition to the U.S.-led international order.

Xi welcomed Putin, who arrived in Beijing earlier in the day for his first overseas trip since beginning his fifth term in office last week, as his “old friend,” and said bilateral relations, which mark their 75th anniversary this year, have “stood the test of the changing international landscape” and grown stronger.

“Steady development of China-Russia relations is not only in the fundamental interests of the two countries and the two peoples, but also conducive to peace, stability and prosperity of the region and the world at large,” Xi was quoted as saying at the summit held in the Great Hall of the People in Beijing.

Combined photo shows Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping. (Kyodo)

Putin told Xi at the meeting, “Our cooperation in world affairs today serves as one of the main stabilizing factors in the international arena,” according to Russia’s Tass news agency.

Russia and China together uphold the principles of justice and a democratic world order that reflects multipolar realities and a world order based on international law, Putin was quoted as saying.

Putin also said it is of fundamental importance that relations between Russia and China are “not opportunistic and are not directed against anyone,” according to the news agency.

The Russian president added the two countries have promoted practical cooperation and made the point that Beijing is Moscow’s main trade and economic partner. He said bilateral trade flows expanded as almost 90 percent of all payments between the two countries are being made in their respective currencies, Tass said.

Xi and Putin have so far met more than 40 times and stayed in close communication, according to the Chinese ministry. The two leaders are expected to release a joint statement after discussing issues including the Ukraine war.

China opposes Western sanctions on Russia over the Ukraine war. The United States and some European countries have expressed concern over Beijing’s supply to Moscow of items that can be used for both civilian and military purposes.

The national flags of Russia (L) and China are hoisted outside Beijing’s Tiananmen gate on May 16, 2024, to coincide with Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to China. (Kyodo) 

Putin is being accompanied by a number of senior officials including Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov, Defense Minister Andrey Belousov and Russian Security Council Secretary Sergey Shoigu as well as business leaders, Tass said.

The Russian president will also meet with Chinese Premier Li Qiang and visit Harbin in northeastern China’s Heilongjiang Province, which borders Russia, on Friday to attend an expo showcasing companies from the two countries, the news agency said.

In March last year, Xi met with Putin in Moscow shortly after securing a norm-breaking third five-year term as president. Then in October 2023, the Russian leader held talks with his Chinese counterpart during his visit to Beijing.

The two leaders reaffirmed in 2022 that the bilateral friendship has “no limits.”

Putin said in an interview with China’s official Xinhua News Agency which was published before his arrival in Beijing, that bilateral relations have “reached their highest level in history” and will continue to develop despite a challenging international environment.

“This unprecedented level of strategic partnership between our countries determined my choice of China as the first state to be visited” following the start of his fifth term as president, Putin said.

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