We need your help now

Support from readers like you keeps The Journal open.

You are visiting us because we have something you value. Independent, unbiased news that tells the truth. Advertising revenue goes some way to support our mission, but this year it has not been enough.

If you've seen value in our reporting, please contribute what you can, so we can continue to produce accurate and meaningful journalism. For everyone who needs it.

Chinese President Xi Jinping, right, and Russian President Vladimir Putin meet in Beijing today Alexei Druzhinin/PA Images

Putin hails 'unprecedented' ties with China after meeting Xi Jinping ahead of Winter Olympics

The two leaders met in the Chinese capital today.

RUSSIAN PRESIDENT VLADIMIR Putin has hailed “unprecedented” ties between his country and China after a meeting with Xi Jinping in Beijing today.

The two leaders met in the Chinese capital as their countries seek to deepen relations in the face of increasing criticism from the West.

Moscow’s ties with Beijing are “developing progressively along the path of friendship and strategic partnership, they are of a truly unprecedented nature”, Putin said in televised remarks at the start of their meeting.

He added that Russia and China are an “example of a dignified relationship” and said that ahead of the meeting Moscow prepared a new contract for the supply of 10 billion cubic metres of natural gas to China from Russia’s Far East.

The two leaders will attend the Olympic opening ceremony later in the evening.

While Russian officials are banned from attending international sporting competitions over a doping scandal, they may attend if invited by the head of state of the host country.

Spiralling tensions with the West have bolstered ties between the two nations, and Putin was the first foreign leader to confirm his presence at the Olympics.

“I have known President Xi Jinping for a long time,” Chinese state television quoted Putin as saying in a report on Friday.

“As good friends and politicians who share many common views on solving world problems, we have always maintained close communication.”

Article by Putin

China’s state-run Xinhua news agency also carried an article from Putin on Thursday in which the Russian leader painted a portrait of two neighbours with increasingly shared global goals.

He also hit out at the US-led Western diplomatic boycott of the Olympics that was sparked by China’s human rights record.

“Sadly, attempts by a number of countries to politicise sports for their selfish interests have recently intensified,” Putin wrote, calling such moves “fundamentally wrong”.

For its part, China has become more vocal in backing Russia in its dispute with NATO powers over Ukraine.

Last week, China’s foreign minister Wang Yi called Russia’s security concerns “legitimate”, saying they should be “taken seriously and addressed”.

Moscow is looking for support after its deployment of 100,000 troops near its border with Ukraine prompted Western nations to warn of an invasion and threaten “severe consequences” in response to any Russian attack.

Other leaders set to enjoy Xi’s hospitality during the Games include Egypt’s Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, Saudi Arabia’s Mohammed bin Salman, Kazakhstan’s Kassym-Jomart Tokayev and Poland’s Andrzej Duda.

In total around 21 world leaders are expected to attend the Games.

Your Voice
Readers Comments
This is YOUR comments community. Stay civil, stay constructive, stay on topic. Please familiarise yourself with our comments policy here before taking part.
Leave a Comment
    Submit a report
    Please help us understand how this comment violates our community guidelines.
    Thank you for the feedback
    Your feedback has been sent to our team for review.

    Leave a commentcancel