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Xi calls for closer ties with Russia amid rising protectionism

Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin cook pancakes together. Photo: Reuters

Chinese President Xi Jinping wants more investment projects with neighboring Russia, at a time when the world is facing rising protectionism.

Speaking at the Eastern Economic Forum in Russia Wednesday, Xi said Beijing's relationship with Moscow was at an "all-time high" and there was further scope for investments in Russia.

"China has always been and is still a participant in development projects in the eastern part of Russia," the Chinese leader told an audience in Vladivostok.

"We have unique geographic benefits. China and Russia are the biggest neighbors, we have solid political ties … Chinese and Russian relationships are at an all time high level," Xi noted.

The Chinese president suggested both countries should continue investing in energy, agricultural projects, tourism, infrastructure an education. "There are deep and complex changes underway in the international situation, the politics of force, unilateral approaches and protectionism are rearing their head," he said.

He added that "China is open for international cooperation" and is "willing to study" other opportunities with other countries.

Earlier in the session, Russian President Vladimir Putin also appeared to criticize protectionist policies. During the meetings this week, both countries discussed further military cooperation and ways to boost trade in their local currencies.

The meetings are taking place at a time when Russia's relationship with the West is being tested by economic sanctions. At the same time, China is also being impacted by new trade tariffs from the U.S.


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