China’s president caps 1st day of Russia visit with banquet and concert

World Today

Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands prior to a gala concert dedicated to the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Russia and China in the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow, Russia, Wednesday, June 5, 2019. Putin hailed the launch of a Chinese car factory south of Moscow as a sign of burgeoning business ties. (Sergei Ilnitsky/Pool Photo via AP)

A banquet and a concert capped the first day of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s state visit to Russia.

Xi and President Vladimir Putin had a full day of meetings – pledging closer cooperation – and celebrating 70 years of diplomatic ties.

CGTN’S Wang Hui reports.

A familiar site at the Kremlin – The red carpet was rolled out for visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping.

It’s his eighth time in six years to land on Russian soil since becoming president.

As Beijing and Moscow celebrate 70 years of diplomatic ties, Xi and Putin vowed to bring relations to a new level at a time of increased friction with the U.S.

“The 70th anniversary is a milestone and a new starting point… especially with our involvement in an unprecedented transformation of the global environment. We have to bear with the high expectations of those abroad. Our friendship will be ever-lasting and will only get better with time,” Chinese President Xi Jinping said.

“I give my deepest gratitude to President Xi Jinping for his role in our nations’ bilateral ties. He has taken it to an unprecedented high level, which has become beneficial to the people of both our countries,” Russian President Vladimir Putin said.

Along with senior officials from both countries, the two leaders agreed to move forward to strengthen their alliance.

“We have decided to elevate bilateral relations to a comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination for a new era,” Xi said.

The two presidents signed joint statements on developing their relationship and strengthening global strategic stability. A number of investment and trade deals were also signed.

The two leaders attended some cultural events later in the day, including the opening ceremony of the panda house at the Moscow Zoo and a gala celebrating the 70th anniversary of diplomatic ties.

Six year ago, when Xi first visited Russia as president, he quoted a Russian proverb: “For a big ship, a big voyage.” Six years later, he is calling for concerted efforts by China and Russia to foster their relationship as if it were a vessel.. big and strong enough to steer its way through the ever-changing seas of international relations.

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