Xi, Putin Hail Strong Bilateral Ties in Beijing Meeting 

Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian President Vladimir Putin hailed their deepening bilateral ties Wednesday during a one-on-one meeting in Beijing.

The two leaders held talks at the Great Hall of the People on the sideline of a forum marking the 10th anniversary of the Belt and Road Initiative, Xi’s signature policy to build massive infrastructure projects across Asia, Africa, Latin America and parts of Eastern and Southern Europe.

Referring to his Russian counterpart as “my old friend,” President Xi said the ‘political trust” between China and Russia has deepened, with two sides sharing “close, effective strategic coordination.”

“In the current difficult conditions, close foreign policy coordination is especially necessary,” President Putin said in his opening remarks.

The two leaders noted that bilateral trade was on track to reach a record $200 billion this year.

Just weeks before Russian troops invaded Ukraine, Xi and Putin signed a pledge declaring their “no-limits” bilateral partnership. Beijing has since become Moscow’s most reliable economic and diplomatic partner as Western nations have imposed strict economic sanctions in response to the invasion.

Putin’s trip to Beijing was his second overseas since the International Criminal Court put out a warrant for his arrest in March for alleged war crimes in Ukraine. Earlier this month he traveled to Kyrgyzstan.

The ICC has issued a warrant for Putin’s arrest, obligating member countries to detain the Russian leader if he steps foot on their territory. Neither China, nor Kyrgyzstan, the other nation Putin has visited since the warrant, are members.

Some information for this report came from The Associated Press, Reuters, Agence France-Presse.

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