Chinese President Xi Jinping and Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin agreed Wednesday to boost their economic ties as they apparently showed unity in Beijing in countering pressure from the Group of Seven nations, which displayed a tough stance against them during their recent summit.
Xi told Mishustin that Beijing and Moscow should continue to tap their potential and "improve the level of economic, trade and investment cooperation," China's official Xinhua News Agency said.
The Chinese leader also emphasized that Beijing is willing to continue working with Moscow on issues that concern their respective core interests and to strengthen cooperation under China's signature Belt and Road infrastructure project, Xinhua said.
The Russian premier said his country is "willing to work with China to promote the process of multi-polarization of the world and consolidate the international order," it added. The two met at the Great Hall of the People in the Chinese capital.
Earlier in the day, Mishustin told Chinese Premier Li Qiang that Moscow-Beijing relations are "at an unprecedentedly high level" and urged that the two nations jointly tackle challenges brought about by Western sanctions over Russia's invasion of Ukraine.
The premiers oversaw the signing of memoranda of understanding, including one on promoting service trade cooperation.
Mishustin said challenges faced by Moscow and Beijing are "associated with increased turbulence in the international arena and the pattern of sensational pressure from the collective West" and referred to a Chinese saying that "unity makes it possible to move mountains."
Li noted that pragmatic collaboration between China and Russia has shown "a good development trend" and expressed Beijing's willingness to work with Moscow to expand cooperation in various fields to "take it to a new level."
Western nations introduced a price cap in December on Russian crude oil to squeeze Russia's key source of revenue as economic punishment for its ongoing war in Ukraine, but China has opposed the sanctions and continued to buy energy from the neighboring country.
When Xi visited Moscow in March for talks with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, the Chinese leader called for regular meetings between the Chinese premier and the Russian prime minister, inviting Mishustin to visit China.
The prime ministers of Russia and China will hold a meeting at the end of the year to compare notes, Mishustin said in his meeting with Xi, according to Russia's Tass news agency. The regular dialogue mechanism encompasses five intergovernmental commissions and more than 80 sector-specific working groups, it added.
Mishustin, who is making his first trip to China since becoming prime minister in 2020, vowed Tuesday to deepen bilateral economic ties at a China-Russia business forum in Shanghai. Li called for more bilateral economic and trade exchanges in his message sent to the forum, according to Chinese and Russian media reports.