Wang Wenbin, spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in a daily briefing on Friday that Xi “will have an in-depth exchange of views with President Putin on bilateral relations and major international and regional issues of common concern, promote strategic cooperation and practical cooperation between the two countries, and inject new impetus into the development of bilateral relations.”
“Currently, the world is entering a new period of turbulences and reform with the accelerated evolution of changes of the century. As permanent members of the UN Security Council and important major countries, the significance and impact of the China-Russia relations go far beyond the bilateral sphere,” he added.
The trip comes after the destruction of a US drone over the Black Sea following an encounter with Russian fighter jets, which brought the two countries closest to direct conflict since Moscow’s invasion of Ukraine a year ago.
The Kremlin on Friday also announced Xi’s visit, saying it would take place “at the invitation of Vladimir Putin.”
Xi and Putin will discuss “issues of further development of comprehensive partnership and strategic interaction between Russia and China,” as well as exchange views “in the context of deepening Russian-Chinese cooperation in the international arena,” the Kremlin said in a statement.
The two leaders will also sign “important bilateral documents,” the statement read.
Putin invited Xi to visit Russia during a video conference call the two held in late December. The visit, Putin said, could “demonstrate to the whole world the strength of the Russian-Chinese ties” and “become the main political event of the year in bilateral relations”.
Get a note directly from our foreign correspondents on what’s making headlines around the world. Sign up for the weekly What in the World newsletter here.