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Ukraine-Russia war live: Xi Jinping hails China-Kremlin ties as he meets Vladimir Putin in Beijing

Chinese President Xi Jinping has welcomed Vladimir Putin as the Russian leader began a two-day state visit, underscoring the close relationship between the autocratic leaders.

The public sign of unity comes as Moscow presses forward with a new offensive in Ukraine.

Following Putin’s dawn arrival on Thursday, he was greeted by Xi with full military honours at the Great Hall of the People, the massive seat of the ceremonial legislature sitting aside Tiananmen Square in the heart of the capital Beijing.

In their following meeting, Xi congratulated Putin on his election to a fifth term in office and celebrated the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations forged between the former Soviet Union and the People’s Republic of China after it swept to power in a civil war in 1949. 

Xi said the two countries were furthering their relationship as “good neighbours, good friends, good partners,” according to state broadcaster CCTV. The sentiment echoed their commitment to the “no limits” relationship they signed in 2022, just before Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. 

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