Xi says he invites Putin to China for Belt and Road forum

This undated file photo shows the national flags of China and Russia on Red Square, Moscow. Chinese President Xi Jinping met with Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin in Moscow on March 21, 2023. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

MOSCOW – Chinese President Xi Jinping said here on Tuesday that he has invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to travel to China for the third Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation this year.

When meeting Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin, Xi said that the invitation was made in his informal meeting with Putin.

He noted that Putin attended both of the previous two Belt and Road forums, saying that the Belt and Road cooperation is important in connecting the two countries.

It fits the historical logic that Chinese leaders take Russia as a primary choice for their overseas visits, Xi said, adding that China and Russia are each other's biggest neighbor and comprehensive strategic partner of coordination, and that such a relationship has withstood the test of the world's profound changes.

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Xi also called for continuous regular meetings between Chinese premier and Russian prime minister, and invited Mishustin to visit China.