This is Putin's third time attending the summit, as he previously made an attendance at the 2017 and 2019 meetings.
The Belt and Road Summit is a forum on Jinping's vast trade and infrastructure project, the Belt and Road Initiative, and is hosting representatives of 130 countries. Russia’s top diplomat, Foreign Affairs Minister Sergey Lavrov, arrived in Beijing a day before Putin and held talks with China’s Foreign Minister, Wang Yi.
"Although the world today is not peaceful, downward pressure on the global economy is increasing, and global development faces a great deal of challenges, we firmly believe that the historical trends of peace, development, cooperation, and mutual wins are unstoppable," the Chinese president said at the official banquet, making a reference to the current geopolitical conflicts, according to the Guardian.
Trade relations between Russia and China have soared ever since the former's full-scale invasion of Ukraine in 2022, as Beijing has been importing Russian oil even after other countries placed sanctions on Russian imports.
Global news outlet Al Jazeera has reported that China has also disregarded criticisms from the West for its ties with Russia, saying that their trade relations do not violate any international norms and that China has the right to collaborate with whichever country it chooses.
Putin said in a statement to the Chinese state broadcaster CGTN that a "multipolar world is taking shape, and the concepts and initiatives put forward by President Xi Jinping are highly relevant and significant."
The two presidents last met in Russia in 2023, when Jinping told Putin: "Right now there are changes – the likes of which we haven’t seen for 100 years – and we are the ones driving these changes together."
Putin's China visit is his second foreign venture since the Hague-based International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant against him in March, accusing him of illegally deporting children from Ukraine. Earlier in October, the Russian President visited the former Soviet republic country Kyrgyzstan.
Putin has also reportedly accepted an invitation to visit North Korea from leader Kim Jong-un, possibly to follow up on their discussions in Russia last month. Russia’s foreign ministry has already confirmed that Lavrov, the top Russian diplomat, will visit Pyongyang after leaving Beijing, Al Jazeera reported.
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News of Putin's upcoming visit to North Korea comes right on the heels of U.S. officials having reportedly received information that Kim Jong-un may have delivered around 1,000 boxes of military ammunition and supplies to Russia. U.S. intelligence has also reportedly found evidence that Russia has returned the favor.
"We assess that Pyongyang is seeking military assistance from Russia including fighter aircraft, surface-to-air missiles, armored vehicles, ballistic-missile production equipment or other materials and other advanced technologies," said White House National Security Council spokesman John Kirby in a statement to reporters, adding that U.S. intelligence is closely monitoring Russia's "help" to North Korea.
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