President Xi Jinping and his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin held a video call on Wednesday to discuss bilateral relations and international affairs, a summit that comes amid heightened tensions between Moscow and the West over a Russian troop buildup near Ukraine's border.
In their opening remarks, Xi and Putin hailed relations between China and Russia, with the Russian leader declaring them “a proper example of interstate cooperation in the 21st century.”
“A new model of cooperation has been formed between our countries, based among other things on such principles as not interfering in internal affairs (of each other), respect for each other's interests, determination to turn the shared border into a belt of eternal peace and good neighbourliness,” Putin said.
Xi said that the Russian president “strongly supported China’s efforts to protect key national interests and firmly opposed attempts to drive a wedge between our countries.”
“I appreciate it very much,” Xi said.
Putin also said that he plans to meet with Xi in person in Beijing in February and attend the 2022 Winter Olympics. “As agreed, we will hold talks and then take part in the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympic Games,” Putin said. (AP)