Amidst China-US trade war, Xi in Moscow bats for new strategic partnership era

Last Updated: Thu, Jun 06, 2019 07:26 hrs

[Russia], Jun 5 (ANI): As trade war hits Beijing's diplomatic relations with the United States, Chinese President Xi Jinping arrived here on Wednesday on a state visit to Russia, as the two countries are expected to bring their comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination to a new era.

Xi met Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin and discussed ways to deepen bilateral ties and promote practical cooperation over major international and regional issues of common concerns, Xinhua news agency reported.

The two heads of state also discussed about the future development of bilateral relationship so as to push forward the China-Russia comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination to a new era of greater development at a higher level, Xi was quoted as saying.

Xi's visit to Russia, the eighth since 2013 when he was elected Chinese president, comes as the two countries are embracing the historic moment of the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties.

In an interview with Russia's state TASS news agency, Xi was quoted as saying, "I have had closer interactions with President Putin than with any other foreign colleagues. He is my best and bosom friend. I cherish dearly our deep friendship."

But much of the focus of Xi's latest visit is on their growing economic relationship. Xi will attend the 23rd St Petersburg International Economic Forum (June 6-8), whose theme this year is "Creating a Sustainable Development Agenda,"

Xi is expected to deliver a speech on "China's important proposals in the field of sustainable development", which includes advocating multilateralism and improving global governance, Al Jazeera reported.

Both Russia and China are reportedly facing economic challenges.

On Tuesday, the World Bank lowered its growth forecast for Russia for 2019 to 1.2 per cent, down from 1.4 per cent. The US has led international sanctions against Russia over its military actions in Ukraine. But falling oil production and slowing bank lending are having the biggest impact on its economy, according to the World Bank.

In a similar manner, Beijing and Washington are at loggerheads ever since talks between the world's two largest economies to end trade tensions failed earlier this month.

The US increased tariffs on Chinese goods amounting to over USD 200 billion even as the two sides were in the midst of negotiations.

In retaliation, China increased duties on USD 60 billion worth US imports from June 1. Chinese students and academics were also asked to assess the risks involved given the tightened visa rules.

On Tuesday, the country, in an unusual move, issued a travel warning for its citizens visiting the United States. (ANI)