The new Chinese leader Xi Jinping chose Russia as first stop on his maiden overseas voyage.
China President Xi Jinping will hold meetings with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin as part of a two day visit to Moscow.
President Xi Jinping, who was made Communist Party leader in November and installed as the country’s president last week, will also hold meetings with the Russian Prime Minister Dimitry Medvedev.
Xi Jinping will attend the opening celebrations to mark ‘Chinese Tourism Year’ in Russia and will deliver a speech at the Moscow State Institute of International Relations.
A meeting has also been scheduled with officials from the Russian Defence Ministry.
Since November there has been plenty of speculation over which country would be chosen for the first foreign trip.
Xi Jinping is returning the courtesy bestowed last year, when President Vladimir Putin included Beijing into the first foreign trip of his third presidential term.
This exchange of first foreign visits is seen as the two powers’ effort to bolster their common clout in the world arena now that Russian-Chinese relations “are the best in their centuries-long history,” as Vladimir Putin put it in his recent interview to ITAR-TASS.
According to the Russian president, the two countries are working on quite an ambitious common goal “to shape a new, more just world order.”
China Russia Relations:Each other in the interests of the two countries with the same
Russia Federation and China are historically allied together in a union which has countered western global interests.
The two countries continue to share views on key global issues including Syria and Iran.
Moscow and Beijing both vetoed key UN resolutions on the Syrian crisis.
The two countries stand together, against the US-led stance on both Syria and Iran’s disputed nuclear programme.
However, economics is the critical motivation for this trip.
Last year, just before his re-election to the presidency, Mr Putin said that he wanted to “catch the Chinese wind in our economic sail”.
Russia is the world’s largest energy producer. China is the world’s largest user of energy and needs more of it.
Given the downturn in Europe, Russia needs a new customer. China wants to sign an agreement on a new natural gas pipeline with the Russians.
According to the Chinese Xinhua state-run news agency, President Xi has said that China and Russia should “strengthen coordination in international and regional affairs to safeguard world peace, safety and stability”.
Xinhua said the pivot, which will see America re-focus its attention and its military to the Asia-Pacific region, represented a “strategic mistrust” of China.
Chinese-US relations are tense with Washington accusing Beijing of industrial-level state-sponsored computer hacking.
Despite that though, the new Chinese premier Li Keqiang insisted at a press conference last weekend that both countries were committed to closer ties.
“China and the United States have their own distinctive cultures but we must learn from each other to maintain strong ties,” Premier Li said.