Putin Hails Russia-China Trust in Talks with Xi

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Russian president Vladimir Putin hailed “relations based on trust” with China at the start of bilateral talks with president Xi Jinping, amid massive joint military exercises between the two countries’ forces.

The Kremlin has made a concerted effort to build stronger bonds with Beijing in recent years as relations with western countries have soured.

“We have a trusting relationship in the sphere of politics, security and defense, we know that you personally pay much attention to the development of Russian-Chinese relations,” Mr. Putin said at the start of talks between the two men at an economic conference in Russia’s eastern port city of Vladivostok.

On Tuesday Russia and China began seven days of joint military exercises in Russia’s largest war games since 1981, in a striking show of might and friendship between the Asian neighbors, The Financial Times reported.

“You just noted that out of all the guests [at the conference], China has the largest delegation,” Mr. Xi said. “This, on the one hand, speaks of the great attractiveness of the forum itself, and on the other hand of the comprehensive co-operation between China and Russia in the development of the Far East [region].”

The two presidents, each flanked by a dozen of their ministers and senior aides, smiled as they greeted each other, ahead of talks that are expected to involve efforts to increase bilateral trade and investment amid US sanctions against Moscow and trade war threats against Beijing.

Mr. Putin said that he expected trade between the two countries to reach $100bn this year, up from $87bn in 2017.

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