A day after meeting with Mike Pompeo, Xi has telephonic talk with Putin
A day after US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo visited Beijing and met Chinese President Xi Jinping to discuss a wide array of issues - from North Korea to South China Sea and others, the Chinese president on Friday, June 15, had a talk with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin reiterating that Beijing and Moscow will maintain the high spirit of their bilateral relations, China's CGTN reported.
Xi noted that Putin just made a successful trip to China where he attended the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) and was also awarded China's first friendship medal. Both China and Russia have expressed hope on the SCO as a strong forum on the global stage, especially after the induction of India and Pakistan in Astana, Kazakhstan, in 2017.
Xi also said that he cherished his "profound friendship" with Putin and also the current ties that the two countries share and the communication and cooperation between them, the Chinese media's report added.
Last year, Putin too had awarded Xi with Russia's highest state award when the former visited Moscow.
"I would like to continuously work with President Putin to lead a sustained, stable and high-level Sino-Russian comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination," the report quoted Xi as saying.
Xi also congratulated Putin over the opening of the Fifa World Cup 2018 in Moscow and wished the event success. Russia are hosting the quadrennial mega event for the first time and they defeated their oil partner Saudi Arabia 5-0 in the opening game at the Luzhniki Stadium. China have played in the World Cup only once till date and it was in the 2002 edition organised by Japan and South Korea.
Putin also thanked Xi over the Chinese hospitality at the Qingdao Summit, the CGTN report added.
"I cherish my friendship with President Xi and will stay in close touch with him, Putin said, adding that he sincerely wishes that under the leadership of President Xi, China will make greater achievements," the report said.
Xi's gesture could be an assurance to Moscow that the unity which China, Russia and others have found in the recent times on platforms like SCO was not compromised even if Xi had a friendly meeting with the top US diplomat in the wake of the historic summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore on June 12. Both countries are having strained relations with the US and have found a common ground to cement their own ties.
Earlier this month, the two countries signed a number of deals, including nuclear cooperation projects worth US$3.13 billion and an industrial investment fund worth US$1 billion.