Putin and Xi sign declaration on reinforcing strategic partnership

China’s leader Xi Jinping welcomed Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on Thursday as he began a two-day state visit while Moscow presses forward with a new offensive in Ukraine, underscoring the close relationship between the autocratic leaders.

The two leaders signed a joint statement on deepening the comprehensive strategic partnership between their two nations after their initial meeting. Xi said China and Russia will continue to uphold a position of non-alliance and non-confrontation.

Putin was greeted by Xi with full military honors at the Great Hall of the People, the massive seat of the ceremonial legislature sitting aside Tiananmen Square in the heart of the capital Beijing.

In their following meeting, Xi congratulated Putin on his election to a fifth term in office and celebrated the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations forged between the former Soviet Union and the People's Republic of China after it swept to power in a civil war in 1949. Putin faced no credible opposition in the presidential race, and, like Xi, has not laid out any plans for any potential successors.

Since then, Russia has become increasingly economically dependent on China as Western sanctions cut its access to much of the international trading system.

(AP)


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