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Xi-Putin sign, issue joint statement on deepening China-Russia ties

Beijing: China's President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin on Thursday signed and issued a joint statement on deepening China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era on the occasion of the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries state media Xinhua reported.
Xi rolled out the red carpet for Putin, who arrived in Beijing for a two-day state visit, signalling the deepening alignment between the two nations amidst Russia's ongoing advances in Ukraine, CNN reported.
The grand reception, complete with a military band serenade and multiple gun salute outside the Great Hall of the People, underscored the significance of the leaders' close relationship amid escalating tensions with the West.
In their discussions, Thursday morning, Xi said China-Russia relations have "stood the test of a changing international landscape" and should be "cherished and nourished" by both sides, according to a readout from China's Foreign Ministry.
"China is ready to work with Russia to stay each other's good neighbour, a good friend and good partner that trust each other, continue to consolidate the lasting friendship between the two peoples, and jointly pursue respective national development and revitalisation and uphold fairness and justice in the world," Xi said.
Putin's visit to Beijing, his first overseas trip since beginning his new presidential term coincided with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy's decision to suspend all upcoming international engagements as his country faced a sudden Russian offensive in the northeastern Kharkiv region, as reported by CNN.
Against this backdrop, the fourth face-to-face meeting between Putin and Xi took on added significance, highlighting the international concern surrounding the conflict in Ukraine and the need for diplomatic efforts to address the crisis.
The visit also occurred amidst mounting pressure on China to ensure that its extensive trade relationship with Russia does not inadvertently support Moscow's military activities.
Concerns have been raised about the substantial exports from China to Russia, which include crucial goods for Russia's defence industry. While the US has accused China of providing significant support to Russia's defence complex, Beijing has dismissed these claims as baseless and emphasised the importance of normal trade relations between the two countries.
Discussions between Xi and Putin in Beijing were expected to cover a range of topics, including the ongoing conflicts in Ukraine and Gaza, as well as bilateral trade, security, and energy cooperation. Putin praised the unprecedented level of strategic partnership between China and Russia, highlighting their shared goals of enhancing foreign policy coordination and expanding cooperation in various sectors, including industry, technology, and energy.
Both leaders have maintained a strong personal rapport and have worked closely to strengthen diplomatic, trade, and security ties between their countries. Xi's visit to Moscow in 2023 marked a significant milestone in their relationship, demonstrating the importance of high-level engagement in advancing mutual interests. The leaders view each other as essential partners in their efforts to counter what they perceive as Western dominance in global affairs, according to CNN.
As part of Putin's visit to China, he was scheduled to travel to Harbin, the capital of China's northeastern Heilongjiang province, where he would attend trade and cooperation forums.
The region, historically plagued by border tensions between China and Russia, has seen increased connectivity in recent years, fostering closer economic and cultural ties between the two neighbours.
Additionally, Putin's itinerary included a visit to the Harbin Institute of Technology, a university sanctioned by the US government for its alleged involvement in supplying items to China's military. This engagement underscored the importance of educational and scientific cooperation in enhancing bilateral relations between China and Russia, CNN reported.

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