Chinese, Russian presidents meet ahead of BRICS, SCO summits

Ufa (Russia), July 8 (IANS) Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin met here on Wednesday ahead of this year’s BRICS and Shanghai Cooperation Organisation (SCO) summits, Xinhua news agency reported.

It is their second meeting in the past two months alone. They held talks in Moscow on May 8 before they joined other leaders at the celebrations marking the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Great Patriotic War, Russia’s term for World War II.

Putin is set to travel to Beijing in September to attend the commemorative activities for the 70th anniversary of the victory of the Chinese people’s war of resistance against Japanese aggression.

Putin is the foreign head of state with whom Xi has met most frequently since he took over the Chinese presidency in March 2013. By Wednesday’s meeting, the two have sat down for bilateral talks as heads of state 10 times.

During Xi’s visit to Russia in May, Beijing and Moscow agreed to align China’s Silk Road Economic Belt initiative and Russia’s aspirations within the Eurasian Economic Union to jointly boost regional trade and interconnectivity.

Xi arrived in Ufa, capital of Russia’s Bashkortostan republic, earlier on Wednesday to attend the Seventh BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa) Summit and the 15th meeting of the SCO Heads of State Council.

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