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China congratulates Putin on election victory

China, Russia say to strengthen cooperation in Lavrov visit
Source: Video Screenshot

Key Russian ally China on Monday congratulated President Vladimir Putin on his election victory.

With 99 percent of polling stations having submitted results, Putin had secured 87.33 percent of all votes cast, official election data showed Monday, according to state news agency RIA.

“China expresses its congratulations on this,” foreign ministry spokesman Lin Jian said when asked about the poll at a regular press conference.

“China and Russia are each other’s largest neighbours and comprehensive strategic cooperative partners in the new era,” he added.

It was a record victory for Putin in a presidential election where he faced no genuine competition.

“We firmly believe that under the strategic guidance of President Xi Jinping and President Putin, China-Russia relations will continue to move forward,” Lin said, noting that this year marks the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between the countries.

Putin on Monday heaped praise on Beijing, saying he was “sure that in the coming years we will only strengthen and build up our relations and achieve common successes for the benefit of the Chinese and Russian peoples”, Russian state news agency TASS reported.

“The most important thing is the coincidence of state interests. This creates a very good tone for solving common problems in the field of international relations,” Putin was reported as saying.

“The structure of China’s economy is changing towards innovation,” he added. “We face exactly the same tasks in Russia.”

Once socialist allies, China and Russia endured a tempestuous relationship during the later decades of the last century, but have drawn closer of late as their burgeoning friendship has come to represent a bulwark against the US-led West.

The close ties have deepened even as Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine has roiled Moscow’s relations with Western nations, and China has pointedly refused to condemn its ally’s attack on its European neighbour.

Western countries have argued that China’s equivocation has given Putin much-needed political and diplomatic cover to wage an unprovoked war of aggression on Kyiv.

 

– ‘Best friend’ Putin –

 

China’s foreign ministry did not immediately confirm whether President Xi Jinping, who has previously called Putin his “best friend”, had personally congratulated the Russian leader.

Both leaders have previously hailed the strength of their personal friendship, having both reshaped their respective countries in their own images during protracted tenures at the helm.

Xi last October welcomed his “dear friend” Putin to Beijing, where the Russian president was the guest of honour at a multilateral summit.

The Chinese leader said that “political mutual trust between the two countries is continuously deepening”, hailing their “close and effective strategic coordination”.

Xi noted that he had met with Putin 42 times in the past decade, saying they had “developed a good working relationship and a deep friendship”.

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AFP

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