March 22 - Chinese President Xi Jinping meets Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow on his first foreign trip as president. Sunita Rappai reports.
Pomp and fanfare at the Kremlin as Chinese leader Xi Jinping meets Russian President Vladimir Putin, on his first foreign trip as president. The trip underlines Beijing's growing alliance with Moscow as both try to bolster their clout as financial and geopolitical counterweights to Washington. Putin told Xi he was grateful for China's decision to visit Russia first and said the visit showed how much effort both countries put into building their relationship. In response, Xi said Russian-Chinese relations were at their best and the two shared wide mutual interests. He added that further development of their relationship was in the interest not only of their governments but also of their people. Just before Xi arrived in Moscow with first lady Peng Liyuan, a $2billion deal was announced by Russian and Chinese companies to develop coal resources in eastern Siberia. Russia is the world's largest energy producer and China its biggest consumer.