Russia’s President Vladimir Putin has described his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping as a “true world leader” who makes all of his moves with long-term goals in mind.
Xi is “of course, one of the recognized world leaders,” Putin said in an interview with the state-run China Central Television (CCTV) network, extracts from which were released on Sunday.
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The Chinese leader “doesn’t make momentary decisions based on some current events. He assesses the situation, analyzes it and looks into the future,” he stated.
This quality is “very important, it’s what distinguishes a true world leader from the people we call ‘placeholders,’ who come for five minutes to show off on the international stage and then just disappear without anyone noticing.”
The president said Xi has always been “a thorough, calm, but business-like and reliable partner” for Russia.
If we agree on something with him, we can be sure that the agreement will be fulfilled, on both sides,” he added.
Putin gave a lengthy interview to CCTV ahead of his trip to Beijing, where he is scheduled to participate in the Belt and Road Forum on October 17 and 18.
The Belt and Road Initiative, initially aimed at boosting infrastructure development and investment in Central Asia, was presented by Xi in 2013. Since then, more than 150 countries and organizations have joined the Chinese-led project.
Political and economic collaboration between Russia and China has experienced substantial growth in recent years, with ties becoming even closer since the outbreak of the conflict in Ukraine. Beijing has resisted Western pressure to condemn or sanction Moscow, instead boosting trade with Russia and becoming one of the main destinations for Russia’s energy supplies redirected from Europe. China has consistently called for a peaceful settlement to the crisis and argued that US actions and NATO expansion provoked the fighting between Moscow and Kiev.
In an article for China’s People’s Daily ahead of Xi’s visit to Moscow this March, Putin said Russia-China relations have reached “the highest level in their history and are gaining even more strength” as the two nations are working together to shape the multipolar world.