Russia and China's presidents congratulated each other in a phone call for reaching a record trade volume of $227.7 billion in 2023, surpassing a target set by the two leaders a year ahead of schedule, the Kremlin said Thursday.
Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping summed up the results in developing their countries' partnership and strategic cooperation, it said in a statement.
They expressed mutual interest in further promoting cooperation across all areas, noting that this year, the two countries are marking the 75th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties.
"Both sides confirmed their readiness to increase foreign policy coordination within the framework of various multilateral structures, in particular in the UN, BRICS and the Shanghai Cooperation Organization," the statement said.
While exchanging views on the situation in the Middle East, Putin and Xi spoke in favor of a political and diplomatic settlement of the Palestinian problem within the generally recognized international legal framework.
Putin reaffirmed Russia's support for the One-China policy while speaking about the tensions surrounding Taiwan, and the two leaders also addressed the situation in Ukraine.
Putin and Xi also "emphasized that close Russia-China interaction is an important stabilizing factor in world affairs," the Kremlin said.
Chinese state media reported that Xi emphasized that the two sides "should intensify strategic coordination, safeguard their respective national sovereignty, security and development interests and resolutely oppose interference in internal affairs by external forces."
"The two sides should cultivate new momentum for bilateral cooperation (and) maintain the stability of the industrial and supply chains," Xi told Putin, adding their countries should "jointly hold cultural exchanges that connect the hearts of the two peoples and constantly tighten the bonds of their people."
Xi also said that China and Russia "should support Kazakhstan in hosting this year's Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit, enhance unity and mutual trust and safeguard regional security and stability and the common interests of regional countries."
He also backed Russia in assuming the rotating presidency of BRICS this year.
Beijing is "willing to work with Russia to strengthen international multilateral coordination, practice true multilateralism, advocate an equal and orderly multipolar world and economic globalization that benefits all, and make the global governance system more just and reasonable, so as to make positive contributions to building a community with a shared future for mankind," it added.
The phone call between the two leaders took place a day after Chinese Chouzhou Commercial Bank, one of the main banks for Russian exporters, notified its clients in Russia and Belarus that it is ending all of its operations there due to payment issues associated with Western sanctions.