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Chinese President Xi Jinping awards Putin the Order of Friendship

Chinese President Xi Jinping met Vladimir Putin on Wednesday in Russian Federation, where the two leaders heaped praise on the relationship between their countries amid growing tensions with the United States.

Chinese President Xi Jinping attends a meeting at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China May 24, 2019.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping walk during their meeting at the Kremlin in Moscow on June 5.

Xi presented the pandas - named Ru Yi and Ding Ding - following talks with Putin, whom he called his "best friend".

Trade between the two countries hit a record of more than 100 billion US dollars a year ago.

A solid political foundation and mutual trust have helped the two countries develop a comprehensive strategic partnership of coordination, Chinese Ambassador to Russia Li Hui said.

At a Moscow meeting between Putin and Xi, the Chinese leader called his Russian counterpart his "close friend", noting that they had met almost 30 times over the past six years.

The presidents of Russian Federation and China heralded a new era of co-operation between their countries yesterday as they met to deepen their alliance amid growing rifts with Washington.

"We confirmed that the positions of Russia and China on key world problems are close, or as the diplomats say, coincide", the Russian leader said after the first round of discussions with Mr Xi, whom he referred to as "dear friend".

The countries are also strengthening cooperation in military affairs and space development.

In a written statement released after his arrival in Moscow for the three-day visit to Russia, Xi said China and Russia have created a role model of peaceful coexistence and win-win cooperation between neighboring countries as well as between major world powers.

Russia's economic and diplomatic ties with China have deepened since 2014, when Western countries imposed targeted economic sanctions on Moscow for its annexation of the Crimean peninsula.

Still, Russia needs China much more than the other way round, according to the analyst.

Following the talks and a visit to the Bolshoi Theatre late Wednesday, Xi is set to travel to Russia's former imperial capital Saint Petersburg. Putin will also attend the event.

"Therefore, China has all the necessary conditions, capability and confidence to deal with any risks and challenges, " he said without referring directly to the United States and the dispute with Washington over Chinese trade and technology policies.

Presidential advisor Ushakov said "the positions of Russian Federation and China are very close or coincide completely on most worldwide issues", including the North Korean nuclear programme, the Venezuelan crisis and the Iran nuclear deal.

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