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Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping (R) talk during a bilateral meeting on May 16, 2024, in Beijing, China. Russian President Vladimir Putin is in China for a two-day state visit. ( Contributor/Getty Images)
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Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived in Beijing on May 16 for a two-day visit for talks with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping.

Prior to his trip, Putin gave an interview to the Chinese state outlet Xinhua in which he praised the "unprecedented level of strategic partnership" between the two countries.

The trip is Putin's first official travel abroad since his inauguration for the fifth presidential term, secured in the March election broadly seen as rigged.

Xi and Putin plan to discuss a range of issues regarding their bilateral partnership and strategic interaction and identify key areas for future cooperation, the Kremlin said on May 15.

Putin will also meet Chinese Premier Li Qiang and visit the city of Harbin to take part in the opening ceremony of the eighth Russian-Chinese EXPO and the fourth Russian-Chinese Forum on Interregional Cooperation.

In the interview with Xinhua, the Kremlin's chief praised China's "active efforts to find a political solution" to the ongoing Russo-Ukrainian war and claimed that Moscow is seeking a "settlement of this conflict through peaceful means."

While Xi tours Europe, China feeds Russia’s war machine
As Chinese President Xi Jinping toured Europe this week to discuss Ukraine and trade, China remains Russia’s leading source of sanctioned dual-use goods, fueling the ongoing war. “Around 90% of the goods deemed high priority products by the Western countries... (was) supplied by China” as Chinese-m…

Russia launched its full-scale invasion in 2022, occupies a significant portion of Ukraine's territory, and carries out attacks against the Ukrainian population centers and infrastructure on a daily basis.

China officially declares itself a neutral party to Russia's full-scale war in Ukraine, but Washington has continued to sound the alarm on Beijing's support of Moscow's defense industry.

Beijing has also become Russia's economic lifeline amid tightening Western sanctions imposed on Moscow in response to the invasion. In February 2023, China published its own peace plan proposal for Ukraine, which the West criticized as working in Russia's favor.

Switzerland is scheduled to host a peace summit for Ukraine in mid-June, with 160 national delegations invited to attend. While Russia has not received an invitation, Kyiv voiced hope that Chinese representatives would participate.

Putin previously visited China last October to attend the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing.

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