Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit China for summit this week

Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit China this week for a summit with his Chinese counterpart, Xi Jinping. It will be his first foreign trip since he was sworn in for his fifth term.

China's Foreign Ministry and Russia's presidential office announced on Tuesday that Putin will make an official visit to China on Thursday and Friday.

Putin is to meet Xi in Beijing, and will also visit the northeastern city of Harbin, known as the "Oriental Moscow," in Heilongjiang Province.

A Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson said the leaders will discuss cooperation in various fields, as the two nations mark the 75th anniversary of diplomatic relations.

Russia's presidential office said Putin and Xi will identify key areas for further development of practical cooperation, and exchange views on the most pressing international and regional issues.

By choosing China for his first foreign trip in his new term, Putin appears to be aiming to strengthen ties amid the deepening rift with Western nations over Russia's invasion of Ukraine.

China also apparently seeks to demonstrate its strong links with Russia to oppose pressure from the United States.

China has indicated its intention to mediate peace talks between Russia and Ukraine. But the US has expressed concerns about its support for Russia's munitions industry.