Putin and Xi Pledge to Improve Bilateral Relations in New Year

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping pledged to build and improve bilateral economic and military relations between Russia and China in a video call on December 30, according to a translation provided by the Kremlin.

Putin began his address by highlighting several occasions for contact between the two leaders and promising “intensive bilateral relations” in the new year.

He also previewed a state visit by Xi, scheduled for early 2023, saying: “This will demonstrate to the whole world the strength of Russian-Chinese ties on key issues and will become the main political event of the year in bilateral relations.”

Putin praised the growth of the Chinese and Russian trade economies, saying that “despite the unfavorable external situation, illegitimate restrictions and direct blackmail by some Western countries, Russia and China managed to ensure record high growth rates of mutual trade.”

The Russian president ended his part of the conversation by addressing the close military relations between the two countries, saying: “And of course, military and military-technical cooperation, which contributes to ensuring the security of our countries and maintaining stability in key regions, occupies a special place in the entire range of Russian-Chinese cooperation and our relations. We aim to strengthen cooperation between the armed forces of Russia and China.”

According to a statement from the Chinese government, Xi also pledged his country’s support to the bilateral relationship, saying: “In a changing and turbulent international environment, it is important that China and Russia remain true to the original aspiration of cooperation, maintain strategic focus, enhance strategic coordination, continue to be each other’s development opportunity and global partner, and strive to bring more benefits to the two peoples and greater stability to the world.” Credit: Kremlin via Storyful