Russian and Chinese Presidents discuss strategic partnership between the two nations.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping, have signed a joint statement on deepening the comprehensive strategic partnership between their two nations at a summit that framed their relationship as a stabilising force in a chaotic world.

Speaking at a joint press conference on Thursday, Xi said: “China is willing to … jointly achieve the development and rejuvenation of our respective countries, and work together at a joint press conference on Thursday, Xi said: “China is willing to … jointly achieve the development and rejuvenation of our respective countries, and work to uphold fairness and justice in the world.”

The Chinese President made the point that Russia-China cooperation did not target any third party, that it was a mutually respectful, beneficial partnership and that he hoped that the war in Ukraine would be solved peacefully.

The Chinese president described the relationship as “a stabilising force in the world in the face of rising hegemony, no doubt referring to the United States”, she added.

Putin expressed gratitude to Xi for efforts to resolve the war in Ukraine.

He criticised the United Nations and the G20, saying that they needed to be “depoliticised” and that Russia and China “would work together to improve security in the Asia-Pacific”, said Yu.

Putin condemned the ‘closed alliances in the region’,referring to the AUKUS pact [between Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States], which Beijing considers as an alliance designed to contain China.

Trade was an important aspect of the meeting, with Xi highlighting that bilateral trade had increased by 170 percent over the past 10 years with the potential to expand.

Describing their initial session as “warm and comradely”, Putin outlined sectors where the two countries were strengthening ties, from nuclear and energy co-operation to food supplies and Chinese car manufacturing in Russia.

The visit comes days after Russia launched a new offensive in Ukraine’s northeastern Kharkiv region and as it claimed advances on the 1,000km (600-mile) long front line, where Ukrainian forces have been hampered by delayed deliveries of weapons and ammunition from the United States.

Xi had given his Russian counterpart a warm welcome, holding a reception outside Beijing’s Great Hall of the People. The two countries’ anthems were played to the accompaniment of a gun salute before the two men went on to review the troops gathered on the plaza. A group of children jumped up and down enthusiastically as the two men walked past during a ceremony that lasted nearly half an hour.

“China is ready to work with Russia to stay each other’s good neighbour, good friend and good partner,” state news agency Xinhua reported Xi as saying.

Before the two-day visit, Putin, 71, said his choice is China as his first foreign destination since being sworn in as president for a fifth term underlined the “unprecedentedly high level of the strategic partnership” between the two countries as well as his close friendship with Xi.

The two leaders will take part in an event to celebrate 75 years since the Soviet Union recognised the People’s Republic of China, declared by Mao Zedong following the communists’ victory in China’s civil war in 1949. Putin will visit Harbin in northeastern China China, a city with strong ties to Russia.

In an interview with Legacy Daily, Putin appeared to give his backing to a 12-point Ukraine peace plan that China released to a lukewarm reception.

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy has said any negotiations must include a restoration of the country’s territorial integrity, the withdrawal of Russian troops from all Ukrainian territory, the release of all prisoners, a tribunal for those responsible for the aggression, and security guarantees for Ukraine.

China claims to be neutral in the conflict but has not condemned Russia for its invasion of a sovereign country.

The two countries have made it clear that they want to remake the international order in line with their visions of how the world should be. Both are veto-holding members of the United Nations Security Council, alongside the United States, France and the United Kingdom.

The two countries have also deepened military ties, holding joint war games over the Sea of Japan and the East China Sea, and organising training for ground forces in each other’s territory.

China has stepped up military activity around self-ruled Taiwan as the island prepares for the May 20 inauguration of William Lai Ching-te, who was elected president in elections in January.

China claims the territory as its own and has not ruled out the use of force to achieve its goal.

Sri Lanka, which faced its worst economic crisis a couple of years ago, is now gradually recovering. The island nation relies heavily on tourism and is again becoming one of the biggest hotspots for Indian travellers and an alternative to Maldives after New Delhi and Male’s diplomatic ties hit a new low in recent months.

The PhonePe digital payments app, which was launched in August 2016, now boasts having more than 520 million registered users and a digital payments acceptance network of 38 million merchants. It processes over 230 million daily transactions.

PhonePe’s CEO, International Payments, Ritesh Pai, told Legacy Daily that this facility offers unparalleled convenience to Indian tourists and business travellers during their stay in Sri Lanka as they can now use a familiar and secure payment method while travelling and paying across LankaQR merchant points.

“This collaboration would provide the merchants with a cost-effective proposition to card payments,” LankaPay CEO Channa de Silva said.

Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe informed reporters that the collaboration will unlock new opportunities, enhance competitiveness and bringg many benefits to merchants of the island nation.

Speaking at the event, Santosh Jha, High Commissioner of India to Sri Lanka, said the UPI launch is an important part of a larger goal for both countries to collaborate through a digital partnership.

“India is also supporting Sri Lanka in the development of its Unique Digital Identity Program and other components of the Digital Stack that has immense transformative potential for Sri Lanka and the bilateral economic partnership,” Jha said.