President Vladimir Putin has called for across-the-board leap in Russia-China relations, including cooperation in security and defence.
Recalling his meeting with his “great friend,” Chinese President Xi Jinping, in Moscow earlier this year, Mr. Putin said that they had agreed to “impart a new impulse, new quality to relations between Russia and China [and] raise them to a still higher level.”
“This covers the economy — China ranks first in Russia’s trade turnover, as well as security and international peace,” Mr. Putin told Chinese State Councillor Yang Jiechi during their meeting in the Black Sea resort of Sochi on Friday.
The State Councillor is visiting Russia to prepare a one-on-one meeting between Mr. Putin and Mr. Xi on the sidelines of a G20 summit in St. Petersburg on September 4 and 5
The Russian leader praised the progress Russia and China had made in the sphere of defence cooperation during the meeting.
“We have been successfully cooperating in the military-technical and defence spheres,” Mr. Putin said, opening the meeting. “This is evidenced by the exercises that our militaries have just wound up.”
The Russian leader was referring to Russian-Chinese large-scale land manoeuvres that were conducted in the Russian Urals Region from July 27 to August 15 and involved 1,500 troops and more than 250 units of military hardware, including 20 aircraft and helicopters.
Last year, China resumed massive purchases of Russian weapon systems, taking delivery of seven Il-76MD heavy transport aircraft and signing contracts for the supply of 52 MI-171E helicopters and hundreds of engines for its fighter jets. China has also signed framework agreements for the purchase of Russia’s latest submarines, Amur-1650 and long-range fighter planes, Su-35.