China-Russia relations: Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin will have ‘several’ meetings, including visit to China this year, says ambassador

China-Russia relations: Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin will have ‘several’ meetings, including visit to China this year, says ambassador

Russian President Vladimir Putin is expected to visit China this year, according to China’s ambassador to Moscow, as the two countries forge a stronger front against the West.

In an interview with Russian state news agency Sputnik on Saturday, ambassador Zhang Hanhui said the two sides were preparing for “several meetings” between Chinese President Xi Jinping and Putin this year.

“Putin’s visit to China [this year] will definitely be a success,” he said. “China looks forward to his arrival.”

This will be Putin’s 19th visit to China since he became the president in 2000.

Putin said earlier that he would host the 2024 Brics summit of emerging economies in Kazan in October.

China and Russia are among the founding members of the group, which now has nine members, including Brazil, India, South Africa, Egypt, Ethiopia, Iran and the United Arab Emirates. Saudi Arabia is still considering an invitation to become a member, but Argentina’s new President Javier Milei has pulled his country out.

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Amid tensions with the West, Beijing and Moscow have moved closer in recent years.

Xi and Putin declared a “no-limits” partnership between their countries in Beijing in February 2022, three weeks before Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which soon drew a raft of sanctions from the United States and its allies.

In March last year Xi flew to Moscow for a state visit. In October, Putin, who has been shunned by the West since the war, returned Xi’s gesture by attending the Belt and Road Summit in Beijing.

The summit was his second overseas trip since the International Criminal Court issued a warrant for his arrest in March on charges of illegally deporting Ukrainian children.

The two presidents have also spoken over the phone from time to time, most recently on Thursday to mark Lunar New Year, when the pair pledged to keep close communication and join efforts to create a “multipolar, fairer world order”, according to the Kremlin.

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Satellite imagery suggests North Korea is supplying Russia with weapons through Rason port

Satellite imagery suggests North Korea is supplying Russia with weapons through Rason port

In his recent interview with the US broadcaster Tucker Carlson, Putin said Russia and China had a balanced trade turnover and the two countries were helping each other in areas such as high technology, energy and science

The two countries have increased their economic relationship, while also boosting cooperation in areas such as the military, artificial intelligence and space.

Last year, China’s total trade with Russia hit a fresh record high of US$240 billion, up 26 per cent from the previous year, making Russia mainland China’s sixth-largest trading partner, after the United States, Japan, South Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

China has been Russia’s biggest trading partner since 2010.

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