The Russian president has previewed his China trip by championing “mutual respect” among nations Russian President Vladimir Putin presides over a government meeting in Moscow on May 10, 2024. © Gavriil Grigorov / Sputnik

Russian President Vladimir Putin has set the stage for his state visit to China by praising efforts by Moscow and Beijing to build a “just, multipolar world order” as Western leaders try to retain global dominance by disregarding the sovereign interests of other countries.

In an interview with Xinhua News Agency that was published on Tuesday, Putin said he and Chinese President Xi Jinping had achieved the strongest Russia-China relations in history by relying on “the principles of equality and trust,” as well as mutual respect for each sovereign nation’s interests. He contrasted that approach with Western attitudes toward other nations.

“Earth is the cradle of humanity, our common home, and we are all equal as its inhabitants,” Putin said. “I am convinced that this view is shared by most people on the planet.”

However, he added, “US‑led Western elites refuse to respect civilizational and cultural diversity and reject centuries-old traditional values,” and “have usurped the right to tell other nations whom they may – or must not – make friends and cooperate with.”

“They seek to ensure their well‑being at the expense of other states, just like in the old days, and resort to neo-colonial methods to that end,” Putin said.

Putin is scheduled to begin his two-day visit to China on Thursday. Just as Xi chose Russia for his first foreign trip after being reelected last year, the Russian leader is heading to Beijing after winning his fifth term as president.

Kremlin reveals details of Putin’s China trip Kremlin reveals details of Putin’s China trip

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Kremlin reveals details of Putin’s China trip

The leaders sat down for more than five hours of face-to-face talks during Xi’s trip to Moscow in March 2023. During the meeting, the Chinese president reiterated his “long-term commitment” to strengthening the ties and practical cooperation between the two states.

The Ukraine conflict is currently among the top issues on that agenda. Putin noted that from the outset of the crisis, China had worked to find a diplomatic solution. Neither Ukraine nor its Western backers were ready for an “an equal, honest and open dialogue based on mutual respect and consideration of each other’s interests,” he told Xinhua.

Even as the West tried to wreck the Russian economy with sanctions, trade between Russia and China surged to nearly $228 billion, more than doubling 2019’s volume. “Given global turbulence and economic issues in the West, such results prove yet again the strategic wisdom of our sovereign course and pursuit of national interests,” Putin said.

Beijing has consistently refused to blame Russia for the fighting in Ukraine, arguing that the expansion of NATO and Washington’s “Cold-War mentality” are the root causes of the confrontation.