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Putin Pushes For Growing Moscow-Beijing Trade In China’s Northeast In His State Visit

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping attend the gala event celebrating 75th anniversary of China-Russia relations in Beijing. Sputnik/Alexander Ryumin/Pool via REUTERS

President Putin ended his two-day state visit to China in Harbin in Heilongjiang province. The focus of his visit was to push trade in China’s northeast.

The Russian president had come with a large trade delegation. Finance Minister Anton Siluanov and Central Bank Governor Elvira Nabiullina were part of it.

Heads of major Russian banks were also part of the delegation. include the heads of Russia’s largest banks There was Sberbank CEO German Gref, VTB  chief Andrei Kostin, billionaire Oleg Deripaska and top oil producer Rosneft chief Igor Sechin.

Chinese customs data shows that Russia’s trade with China surged 26.3% last year to a record $240.1. Russia has also overtaken Saudi Arabia as China’s top source of crude oil.

Shipments have jumped more than 24% despite Western sanctions.

China’s state-controlled Global Times said that China had been Russia’s largest trading partner for 13 straight years. It added that this had been achieved despite “external challenges and unfavourable factors.”

Meanwhile, Putin and Xi had signed a joint statement on Thursday that hailed a “new era.”  The joint statement fleshes out the “no limits” partnership the two declared in February 2022.

The two leaders said they would deepen ties and combat the “destructive and hostile” US pressure. This was also said in the statement.

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President Xi said that the “China-Russia relationship today is hard-earned, and the two sides need to cherish and nurture it.”

“China is willing to… jointly achieve the development and rejuvenation of our respective countries, and work together to uphold fairness and justice in the world.”

The US says China is providing Russia with drone and missile technology, satellite imagery and machine tools in its war against Ukraine.

China says it has not provided weaponry to any party in the conflict.