Neighboring giants China and Russia have both stressed the value of a strategic partnership amid faltering relations with the US. Russian President Vladimir Putin was handed a medal by his Chinese counterpart.
Chinese President Xi Jinping welcomed Russian leader Vladimir Putin to Beijing on Friday, with both men hailing the importance of working together strategically.
Putin joined Xi to review a military honor guard before talks in Beijing's grandiose Great Hall of the People.
The meeting underscored a growing closeness at a time of prickly relations with the US for both countries.
What happened at the meeting:
Putin said he and Xi had enjoyed fruitful talks. "The relationship between Russia and China is a friendly, neighborly one, developing ... in the spirit of overarching strategic partnership," the Russian leader said. "Cooperation with China is one of Russia's top priorities and it has reached an unprecedented level."
Xi, meanwhile, said both countries "resolutely supported the other's core interests ... and jointly proactively participated in international affairs and global governance."
"No matter what fluctuations there are in the international situation, China and Russia have always firmly taken the development of relations as a priority."
Why are the two leaders meeting now?:
Alexander Gabuev, senior fellow at the Carnegie Moscow Center, told the AFP news agency that the two men had a very similar style of leadership.
Xi and Putin are "soulmates who want to make their countries great again," Gabuev said. "Both share skepticism towards American hegemony and distrust US intentions, both are authoritarian personalistic rulers."
"They appear to have an excellent rapport," Fyodor Lukyanov, a top Moscow-based foreign policy expert, was quoted as saying by the Associated Press. "They have similar horizons and share a common vision."
rc/kms (AFP, AP, Reuters, dpa)