China Awards Russian President Putin First Friendship Medal
By Mei Manuel, June 09, 2018 03:06 AM
On Friday, Chinese President Xi Jinping gave visiting Russian President Vladimir Putin the first Chinese friendship medal, reaffirming the close ties of both leaders despite the sentiments of the West to Putin's intentions.
Putin is currently in China for the Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in the port city of Qingdao, but he had made a special stop in Beijing to speak with Xi prior to the summit.
The awarding ceremony was held in Beijing's Great Hall of the People and Xi had described their good relationship in his speech.
"No matter what fluctuations there are in the international situation, China and Russia have always firmly taken the development of relations as a priority," he said to Putin.
After his speech, Xi awarded Putin the first friendship medal, on a large gold colored chain, and the awarding was shown live on state television.
Xi had also called Putin a "good and old friend of the Chinese people."
"President Putin is the leader of a great country who is influential around the world. He is my best, most intimate friend."
Aside for the awarding, the two leaders have also oversaw the signing of several agreements, including a joint $1 billion industrial investment fund.
Xi had also said that they will continue to deepen their coordination on the world stage. He said, "China and Russia are permanent members of the UN Security Council and are both great responsible countries."
"Myself and President Putin agreed, in the face of a complex international situation, that China and Russia will increase mutual support and coordination in international affairs, and deepen strategic cooperation."
Putin offered his thanks for the medal during his speech before the people.
"I see this as an acknowledgement and an evaluation of Russia's efforts to develop a comprehensive strategic partnership with China," he said.
"This is an indication of the special attention and respect on which our mutual national interests are based, the interests of our peoples, and, of course, our personal friendship."
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