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Putin arrives in China on 1st state visit after re-elected as Russia’s president

Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping meet in Beijing, China, on May 16, 2024, in this still image taken from live broadcast video. (Photo via Reuters)

Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived in China on his first state visit and met with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping after he was sworn in for a record-breaking fifth term as Russia’s president earlier this month.

Putin arrived in the Chinese capital of Beijing in the early hours of Thursday and was welcomed and greeted by Xi with full military honors at the Great Hall of the People.

During his two-day visit of the world’s second largest economy, Putin is expected to hold one-on-one talks with Xi and those involving delegations, as well as informal face-to-face talks.

The visit to China will be held in two stages and Putin is scheduled to visit both Beijing and Harbin, where Putin will attend the opening ceremony of the 8th Russian-Chinese Expo and the 4th Russia-China Forum on Interregional Cooperation, the TASS news agency reported.

According to China’s state broadcaster CCTV, Xi congratulated Putin on his re-election and celebrated the 75th anniversary of diplomatic ties, saying that Beijing and Moscow are boosting their relationship as “good neighbors, good friends, and good partners.”

Putin, for his part, said, “It is absolutely crucial that Russian-Chinese relations are not ad hoc contacts and are not aimed against anyone,” Russian state news agency RIA Novosti quoted the Russian leader as saying.

“Our cooperation in world affairs is one of the main stabilizing factors on the international stage. Together, we defend the principles of fairness and the democratic world order based on the multipolar realities and international law,” Putin added.

China, a major market for Russian military, and Russia have significantly strengthened their economic cooperation and diplomatic ties in recent years, with their strategic partnership growing even closer following the Ukraine conflict.

Russia and China declared a “no limits” partnership in February 2022, when Putin visited Beijing just days before Moscow launched its military campaign in neighboring Ukraine.

Trade between the two sides reached a record $240 billion last year, with Chinese companies increasing investment after Western firms left Russia following the imposition of sanctions against Moscow.

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