File photo: VCG
ST. PETERSBURG, Russia, June 6 (Xinhua) -- Chinese President Xi Jinping met with his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, on Thursday here in the latter's hometown.
Putin invited Xi to a cruise tour on the Neva River. Welcoming Xi to his hometown again, Putin introduced to the guest local customs as well as the buildings on both sides of the river.
Hailing the beautiful scenery and attractive art and culture, Xi said St. Petersburg has nurtured many outstanding figures and is the pride of Russia and the Russian people.
The two presidents talked about the history and current situation of the ancient city along the sightseeing tour, pledging to promote cultural and people-to-people exchanges between the Chinese and Russian people so as to enhance mutual understanding and friendship.
Putin said he looks forward to more Chinese tourists to St. Petersburg and Russia at large.
After arriving at the Winter Palace, the two heads of state exchanged views in an in-depth way on the current international situation as well as some major international and regional issues.
Xi stressed that both China and Russia are at a key historical stage in their pursuit of national development and rejuvenation.
"Under the current circumstances, the two sides should deepen strategic coordination, not only to safeguard the interests of China and Russia, but also to defend basic international norms and justice as well as world peace, security and stability," said the Chinese president.
The more complex and volatile the international situation is, the more Russia and China should consolidate and deepen political mutual trust, boost coordination and cooperation in international affairs, and safeguard international law and basic norms of international relations, Putin said.
Xi arrived in St. Petersburg earlier on Thursday to attend the 23rd St. Petersburg International Economic Forum after holding talks with Putin in Moscow on Wednesday.