Xi meets ‘best and bosom friend’ Putin amid raging US trade war

Chinese President Xi Jinping met with his “best friend” President Vladimir Putin in Russia Wednesday, cementing economic ties between Moscow and Beijing amid China’s heated trade war with the United States.

Putin opened their bilateral meeting at the Kremlin by thanking Xi for helping their countries achieve a trade turnover of over $100 billion a year and said Russian-Chinese relations have reached an “unprecedented level.”

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Xi is expected to spend three days on the state visit to Russia that coincides with the annual St. Petersburg International Economic Forum, and will commemorate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties between the two countries.

In an interview with Russian state media TASS ahead of the trip, the Chinese leader called Putin his “best and bosom friend,” adding he cherished their “deep friendship.”

My engagement with President Putin is built on a high degree of mutual trust. That is the solid foundation of our close friendship. We treat each other with respect, candor, understanding and trust,

he said.

Xi’s visit comes as the trade war between the US and China continues to put pressure on both economies. In early May, after trade talks between Washington and Beijing fell apart, the Trump administration raised tariffs to 25% on $200 billion of Chinese goods.

Beijing responded by raising tariffs on $60 billion of US exports and escalating its anti-American propaganda. On May 30, the Chinese government accused the US of “economic terrorism.”

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