Putin’s visit is intended to show how good the relationship between the neighboring countries is. Chinese President Xi chose to greet the Russian ruler very personally.

Russian President Vladimir Putin has arrived in China for a two-day state visit. State and party leader Xi Jinping received the Russian for talks on Thursday morning (local time) at the Great Hall of the People in the heart of the Chinese capital, as state media from both countries reported. Putin also wants to travel to the northern Chinese industrial city of Harbin and attend a Russian-Chinese trade fair there.

It is Putin’s first foreign trip during his fifth term in office, which began just over a week ago. Among other things, the conclusion of several cooperation agreements is expected.

The choice of Beijing as the first destination is also symbolic, as Xi first visited Russia after assuming his third term in office. The two nuclear powers are closely linked economically. Russia is affected by far-reaching sanctions from the West due to its war of aggression in Ukraine and needs China as a trading partner. Germany, the USA and other supporters of Ukraine accuse China of not putting enough pressure on Russia and even indirectly supporting Moscow’s warfare – including by supplying components that can also be used for military equipment.

China’s head of state and party leader Xi Jinping assured Russian President Vladimir Putin of close cooperation during his visit to Beijing. A steady development of China-Russia relations is not only of fundamental interest to both countries and peoples, but also contributes to peace, stability and prosperity in the region and the world, Xi said in a conversation with Putin on Thursday, state media reported. China wants to work with Russia to ensure that the countries remain good neighbors that pursue their national development and maintain fairness and justice in the world.

China is the most important ally of Russia, which is largely isolated internationally. Beijing provides Moscow with support in its war of aggression against Ukraine and serves as an important trading partner for the country affected by Western sanctions.

Xi congratulated his “old friend,” as he greeted Putin, on his fifth term in office and expressed confidence that Russia’s development would make “great progress” under him. According to state media reports, the Chinese did not mention Moscow’s war against Ukraine in his welcoming speech. Xi said China-Russia ties have grown stronger and have weathered the “test of a changing international landscape.”

Xi Jinping has described Sino-Russian relations as conducive to peace. China-Russia relations are “not only in the fundamental interests of both countries” but also “conducive to peace,” Xi said at a meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Beijing on Thursday, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.

Putin also described cooperation between China and Russia as “a stabilizing factor on the international stage.” The Russian president arrived in Beijing on Thursday for a two-day visit. It is Putin’s first trip abroad since his re-election in March and the second trip to China in seven months.