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China’s Xi says trade with Russia to hit new records in coming months

Chinese President Xi Jinping spoke Friday by way of video on the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum’s plenary session, which Russian President Vladimir Putin opened with a speech over an hour lengthy. This image is from Putin’s go to to Beijing in early February 2022.

Alexei Druzhinin | AFP | Getty Images

BEIJING — Chinese President Xi Jinping on Friday emphasised his nation’s dedication to buying and selling with Russia, regardless of Western sanctions towards Moscow over its invasion of Ukraine.

“Today our cooperation between Russia and China [is] rising,” Xi mentioned, in accordance to an official English translation carried by Russian state broadcaster RT. He cited Russian President Vladimir Putin’s go to to Beijing in early February.

“Trade over the first half of this year has been [in the tens of billions of U.S. dollars] and we can expect new records in upcoming months, which is a testament to the great cooperation between our two nations,” Xi mentioned.

The Chinese chief was talking by way of video on the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum’s plenary session, which Putin opened with a speech over an hour lengthy.

The official Chinese state media readout of Xi’s remarks didn’t point out “new records” in trade between China and Russia. The readout did name for the removing of trade obstacles and larger cooperation with different international locations, together with Russia.

In each the Chinese readout and RT’s translation, Xi emphasised how China’s financial potential has not modified and talked in regards to the additional improvement of the Belt and Road Initiative.

Trade between China and Russia totaled $65.81 billion in the primary 5 months of this year, up 28.9% from a year in the past, in accordance to China customs information. Most of the expansion got here from Chinese imports from Russia.

Beijing has refused to name Russia’s assault on Ukraine an invasion. After a high-profile meeting between Xi and Putin in early February, a readout mentioned there have been “no limits” or “forbidden areas” of cooperation, with out mentioning Ukraine.

Earlier this week, Xi mentioned in a cellphone name with Putin that Kyiv and Moscow “should push for a proper settlement” in the continued battle in Ukraine, in accordance to a Chinese readout of the decision.

“China, they have their national interest in mind,” Putin mentioned Friday following Xi’s remarks, in accordance to RT’s English translation. “But we do not contradict each other.”

He described Russia’s relations with China as “friendly,” however famous that “it doesn’t mean China should play along with us in everything. We don’t need that.”

Xi has not spoken with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy since Russia invaded Ukraine in late February. From Germany to Japan, many international locations have joined the U.S. in freezing the belongings of Russian oligarchs, proscribing entry of Russia’s greatest banks to the worldwide monetary system, and chopping off Russia from essential technology.

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