Speaking on his 69th birthday, Xi also pledged to deepen strategic coordination between the two countries, according to the Chinese Foreign Ministry.
A separate Kremlin reading said the two leaders stressed their countries’ relations were “at an all-time high” and reaffirmed their commitment to “constantly deepen comprehensive partnership.”
The call is believed to be the second time the two have spoken since Russia invaded Ukraine. They last spoke just days after Moscow launched what it insists it calls a “special military operation.”
China has also refrained from referring to Russia’s actions as an invasion and has walked a fine line on the issue. It has presented itself as a call for peace and the defense of the world order, while refusing to denounce Russia’s actions. It has also used its state media apparatus to mimic Kremlin lines blaming the US and NATO for the crisis.
During Wednesday’s call, Xi stressed that China had always “independently assessed the situation” in Ukraine and called on “all parties” to push for a “proper resolution of the Ukraine crisis,” echoing the language he used. in a March call with US President Joe. Biden.
China is “willing to continue to play its role” in promoting a “proper solution” for Ukraine, he said.
The Kremlin’s summary of the call took this position a step further, saying: “China’s president noted the legitimacy of Russia’s actions to protect core national interests in the face of challenges to its security created by external forces.”
China’s lack of censorship over Russia’s war in Ukraine has further strained Beijing’s strained relationship with the United States and its allies.
Wednesday’s call was also an opportunity for Putin and Xi to check out a growing trade relationship.
“Since the beginning of this year, bilateral relations have maintained a solid development momentum in the face of global turmoil and transformation,” Xi said in the Wednesday call.
The two agreed to expand cooperation in energy, finance, manufacturing and other areas, “taking into account the world economic situation that has become more complicated due to the illegitimate sanctions policy applied by the West,” the Kremlin reading said.
The two countries also pledged to work together to strengthen communication and coordination in international bodies such as the United Nations, where the two often vote as a bloc.
“China is also willing to work with Russia to promote solidarity and cooperation among emerging market countries… and push the development of the international order and global governance in a more just and reasonable direction,” Xi said, in a comment that struck at the countries’ shared goal of rolling back what they see as the global hegemony of the United States.
The call was not the first time that Xi and Putin, two strongmen bound by mutual distrust in the West, have become engaged on each other’s birthdays.
Their personal relationship, in which Xi has described Putin as his “closest and best friend,” is also believed to reinforce the dynamic of their strengthened relationship domestically.
In its summary of the two leaders’ latest call, the Kremlin noted that the conversation took place in a “traditionally warm and friendly atmosphere.”