Xi Jinping said he was ready to ‘stand guard over a world order based on international law’ as he met Vladimir Putin in Moscow today.
In his first state visit to Russia since the invasion of Ukraine, the Chinese leader spent more than four hours in talks with his ‘dear friend‘ Putin, discussing proposals to end the war previously outlined in a 12-point peace plan.
‘We are always open to negotiations,’ the Russian leader said, welcoming China’s plan to settle his ‘acute crisis’ in Ukraine.
Xi, who descended a red-carpeted set of steps at Moscow’s Vnunkovo airport serenaded by a military band, hailed his ‘close ties’ with Russia as Putin said the two countries had ‘plenty of common objectives and tasks’. The Chinese premier expects his time there to prove ‘fruitful’.
Presented as a ‘journey of friendship, cooperation and peace’, the summit marks the deepening of ties between China and an increasingly isolated Russia, who have relied on Beijing to soften the impact of western sanctions by buying Russian energy and commodities.
The leaders are set to meet again tomorrow for more formal talks. A Kremlin spokesman said tonight: ‘The conversation is still going on.’
Read more: Xi Jinping warns China is ready to ‘stand guard over world order’ as he holds four-hour Kremlin talks with ‘dear friend’ Putin who says he is ‘open to negotiations’ over Ukraine