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Putin arrives in China's 'Little Moscow' on second day of state visit - BBC News Putin arrives in China's 'Little Moscow' as allies aim to deepen trade - BBC News
(32 minutes later)
Trade and economic co-operation is the theme of President Putin's second day of his visit to China.
Beijing has become a vital partner for Moscow, as it seeks to soften the impact of sanctions imposed by the US and other countries. Russian President Vladimir Putin is on the second day of his trip to China, visiting Harbin - the capital of China's north-eastern Heilongjiang province, which shares a border with Russia.
China has repeatedly denied allegations that it supplies Russia with weapons. Here's what's been happening:
In an interview with BBC News, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has said: "What's not happening is the provision of actual arms by China to Russia for use in Ukraine." On day two, Putin's focus is on trade and how he can support Russia's war-time economy
However, China has been accused of building up Moscow's war machine by providing critical components. The Russian president has delivered the opening address at the Russia-China Expo, in Harbin, and says the energy ties between the two countries will continue to grow. Putin has also said the Russia-China alliance acts as a guarantor of energy security and enhanced well-being between the two countries
Blinken has said: "Those are being used to help Russia on what's an extraordinary crash course effort to make more munitions, tanks, armoured vehicles, missiles." Putin has also been laying flowers at a memorial to Soviet soldiers in Harbin, who died during the liberation of north-east China from the Japanese in the 1940s
About 70% of the machine tools and 90% of the microelectronics Russia imports come from China, he added. While Putin is in China, Moscow's top energy official has said Russia is hoping to see significant progress towards finalising an agreement on the "Power of Siberia 2" project, which would allow Russia to deliver natural gas to China via Mongolia
Beijing exports more than $300m (£237m), external worth of dual-use items - those with both commercial and military applications - to Russia every month, according to an analysis of Chinese customs data by the Carnegie Endowment think tank. Before arriving in Harbin, Putin was hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping in Zhongnanhai - a compound where China's leaders work and reside and which is reserved only for China's closest allies
It says the list includes what the US has designated as "high priority" items, which are necessary for making weapons, from drones to tanks. Putin arrived in Beijing early on Thursday in what is his first state visit overseas since winning his fifth term in office last March, an election that was widely criticised by the West as undemocratic
RUSI, a UK-based think tank has also cautioned about the potential use of Chinese satellite technology, external for intelligence on Ukraine's front line.
Beijing has also become Moscow's key supplier of cars, clothing, raw materials and many other products, after Western countries imposed sanctions on Russia.
Trade between China and Russia reached a record $240bn (£191bn) in 2023, up more than 64% since 2021 - before Russia's invasion of Ukraine - according to official figures from China.
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