Russian, Chinese Leaders Meet to Strengthen Ties as U.S. Relations Sour

Russia and China appear to be intent on strengthening their alliance and fostering deeper cooperation in the face of increased political and economic hostility from the U.S.

The bid to strengthen bilateral ties continues this week as Chinese President Xi Jinping is in Russia Wednesday for the start of a three-day state visit and top-level talks with Putin.

Welcoming Xi to the Kremlin on Wednesday, Putin said ties between Russia and China stood at “an unprecedented level.” Xi echoed that sentiment by saying that the countries’ relations had withstood “trials and tribulations” over the years and were now better than ever.

“We’ve managed to take our relationship to the highest level in our history,” Xi said. “We will continue to improve our ties and we are ready to go hand in hand with you,” he told Putin at the leaders’ initial meeting that was broadcast online.

On Wednesday evening, Putin and Xi will attend an event to mark the 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries. A number of trade and investment deals are expected to be signed, although a Kremlin spokesperson was unable to give more detail when contacted by CNBC. Xi will also attend and speak at Russia’s annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum (SPIEF) that starts Thursday.

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SOURCE: Holly Ellyatt