On Friday, June 8, Russian President Vladimir Putin arrived to China for a three-day visit.
In Beijing, Putin was given a solemn welcome. Chinese President Xi Jinping personally welcomed the Russian president on the square in front of the House of there National Assembly.
The military orchestra of the People's Liberation Army of China performed on the square to welcome the Russian president too. During the ceremony, the orchestra played national anthems of Russia and China. Chinese musicians also played Russia's world-famous "Katyusha" song.
The conversation between Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping took place behind closed doors. Afterwards, the talks continued with the participation of the delegations of the two countries, the Kremlin noted.
Following the consultations, the parties signed a package of bilateral documents. In addition, Xi Jinping awarded Putin with the Order of Friendship of the People's Republic of China. This is the first time when such a award was presented, Xinhua reported. According to the law of the PCR, this order is awarded to foreign nationals for their outstanding contributions to China's socialist modernization, to China's contacts with the world, as well as for efforts to maintain peace throughout the world, the agency said.
After the talks in Beijing, Putin and Xi Jinping boarded a high-speed train to go to Tianjin. When traveling, the train reached the speed of 300 kilometers per hour. In Tianjin, the leaders will attend a friendly match of young hockey players from Russia and China. Afterwards, Putin will go to Qingdao, where he will take part in the summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization on June 9-10.
On the eve of his visit to China, Putin gave an interview to the Media Corporation of China, in which he told of his relations with his Chinese counterpart. Putin said that Xi Jinping was the only world leader, with whom he had a chance to celebrate his birthday. Putin admitted that they had a shot of vodka and sausages for snacks.
The continued irresolution of the W.Sahara conflict: The right to self-determination vs. Realpolitik by Dr. Sidi Omar, Frente Polisario representative at the UN