STORY: :: Putin and Xi wrap up strategic partnership talks with a rare hug in a Beijing park

:: May 16, 2024

:: Beijing, China

Putin arrived early on Thursday for a two-day state visit including detailed talks on Ukraine, Asia, energy and trade with Xi, his most powerful political backer and fellow geopolitical rival of the United States.

Xi said at a joint news conference that both countries agreed that a political settlement of the Ukrainian crisis would be the right direction. The two leaders also oversaw the signing of several bilateral agreements in sectors such as trade and infrastructure.

China and Russia declared a "no limits" partnership in February 2022 when Putin visited Beijing just days before the beginning of conflict in Ukraine.

Russia, grappling with Western sanctions after its invasion of Ukraine, is increasingly reliant on its booming trade with China, which is challenging U.S. supremacy in areas from quantum computing to espionage and hard military power.