BEIJING: Chinese President Xi Jinping called for Beijing and Moscow to offer each other a “helping hand” in the face of external challenges, at talks with his counterpart Vladimir Putin in Tajikistan Thursday, state media reported.
The two leaders met in the Central Asian nation’s capital Dushanbe ahead of a summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation, a six-nation regional security group that also includes Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan.
It was the pair’s fourth meeting this year, China’s official Xinhua news agency said.
China and Russia at times close allies during the Cold War have been forging closer relations through energy deals in the face of spiralling diplomatic challenges.
Moscow has come under international criticism over its seizure of Crimea and the conflict in eastern Ukraine, while Beijing’s relations with neighbouring countries, such as Japan and Vietnam, have been troubled by territorial disputes.
The two nations often vote together on the UN Security Council, where both hold a veto, sometimes in opposition to Western powers on issues such as Syria.
At the meeting Xi called for the two to “enhance mutual support, expand two-way openness and offer each other a helping hand, so as to jointly deal with external risks and challenges and realise our respective development and revitalisation,” Xinhua reported.