Xi welcomes Putin to China as both leaders seek to strengthen ties

Chinese leader Xi Jinping welcomed Russian President Vladimir Putin to Beijing on May 16, 2024, as the two countries seek to strengthen their strategic relationship. Here is a file photo of the two men as they met in Beijing on October 18, 2023.

Sergey Guneyev | Episode | Getty Images

Chinese leader Xi Jinping welcomed Russian President Vladimir Putin Thursday in Beijing, where both countries are trying to strengthen their strategic relationship.

Putin's two-day state visit to China will take place on September 11 invitation from Xi and it will be the Russian leader's first foreign trip since then he was starting his fifth term in office last week.

Both countries have touted their “no-limits.” friendship since February 2022, as a counterbalance to US global influence

Since the invasion of Ukraine, China has increasingly become Russia's lifeline to shore up its war chest, while Washington continues to tighten the screws on Moscow with more sanctions.

In a interview with state media Xinhua Before the visit, Putin said the trade volume between the two countries reached $227.8 billion last year, up from $111 billion in 2019.

“The current bilateral trade volume is about 20 trillion rubles, or almost 1.6 trillion yuan,” he noted. That's about $219.6 billion.

Both sides aim to deepen cooperation in areas including “high-tech technology, space and the peaceful use of nuclear energy, artificial intelligence and renewable energy,” Putin added.

China's close embrace of Russia has been a thorny issue for the US, with Washington warning Beijing to limit its military aid to Moscow's war against Ukraine.

On the trade front, US President Joe Biden this week announced tough new tariffs on $18 billion of Chinese imports to protect US industries from what Washington has called “unfair trade practices” by China.

Increasing economic and diplomatic pressure from the US and its allies could push China closer to Russia. observers have said.

Putin is expected to meet Chinese Premier Li Qiang and travel to the northeastern city of Harbin for a trade and investment expo, said Russian state media.

This is the latest news. Check back later for updates.

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