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Putin Set to Visit Xi, to Celebrate Deepening Ties With China

Putin will attend an event marking 75 years of bilateral ties. He is due to meet Premier Li Qiang to discuss economic cooperation, and will also visit Harbin, a city with strong ties to Russia

Chinese officials are said to have privately taken credit for getting Putin to back down from his nuclear blackmail after multiple veiled and open threats to use such weapons in Ukraine.
Putin and Xi will take part in a gala evening celebrating 75 years since the Soviet Union recognised the People's Republic of China. This image shows them at a reception at the Kremlin in March 2023 (Sputnik via Reuters).


Russian President Vladimir Putin will undertake a state visit to China on Thursday and Friday (May 16-17).

The Kremlin said on Tuesday that Putin will use the first foreign trip of his new six-year term to celebrate Moscow’s deepening partnership with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping.

China and Russia declared a “no limits” partnership in February 2022 when Putin visited Beijing just days before he sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine, triggering the deadliest land war in Europe since World War Two.


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“At the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin will pay a state visit to China on May 16-17 as his first foreign trip after taking office,” the Kremlin said.

Putin, 71, and Xi, 70, will take part in a gala evening celebrating 75 years since the Soviet Union recognised the People’s Republic of China, which was declared by Mao Zedong in 1949.

The news is no surprise. Reuters reported in March that Putin would travel to China this month.

The United States casts China as its biggest competitor and Russia as its biggest nation-state threat, while US President Joe Biden argues that this century will be defined by an existential contest between democracies and autocracies.

Putin and Xi share a broad world view, which sees the West as decadent and in decline just as China challenges US supremacy in everything from quantum computing and synthetic biology to espionage and hard military power.


To discuss trade, visit Harbin

During the visit, Putin will meet Chinese Premier Li Qiang to discuss trade and economic cooperation. Putin will also visit Harbin, a city with strong ties to Russia.

Putin pivoted strongly to China after the United States and its allies tried to isolate Russia as punishment for the war in Ukraine.

China-Russian trade hit a record of $240.1 billion in 2023, up 26% from a year earlier, Chinese customs data shows.

China has strengthened its trade and military ties with Russia as the United States and its allies imposed sanctions against both countries. Russia has become China’s top crude supplier, with its oil shipments to China jumping more than 24% in 2023 despite Western sanctions.

Putin and Xi “will discuss in detail the entire range of issues of the comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation,” the Kremlin said.

They will “identify key areas for further development of Russian-Chinese practical cooperation, and exchange views in detail on the most pressing international and regional issues.”

The Kremlin said the two leaders would sign a joint statement after the meeting.


  • Reuters with additional editing by Jim Pollard



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Jim Pollard

Jim Pollard is an Australian journalist based in Thailand since 1999. He worked for News Ltd papers in Sydney, Perth, London and Melbourne before travelling through SE Asia in the late 90s. He was a senior editor at The Nation for 17+ years.


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