Xi Jinping arrives for Russia tour


Chinese President Xi Jinping reviews Russian honour guard during official welcome ceremony at Vnukovo airport outside Moscow on March 22, 2013. Xi Jinping arrived today in Moscow on his first foreign trip, to cement ties between the two countries by inking a raft of energy and investment accords.



Xi Jinping has touched down in Russia for his first foreign tour as the leader of China, and is set to meet Russian President Vladimir Putin to discuss energy and investment deals between the two powers.

"China-Russia relations have entered a new phase in which the two countries provide major development opportunities to each other," said Xi of the visit, according to the BBC.

Read more from GlobalPost: Energy deal between China and Russia: China's new president Xi will meet with Putin

Xi's arrival in Moscow as his first stop on a tour that will include Tanzania, South Africa and the Republic of the Congo, may be an indicator of some of China's investment goals under Xi's regime.

It's suspected that China and Russia plan to sign an agreement regarding a natural gas pipeline between the two nations, which share a northern border.

Bilateral talks about the possibility of a pipeline — which would see Russia pumping as much as 68 billion cubic meters of gas annually to resource hungry China — have become ensnared in pricing disputes, noted Voice of America.

The personal visit by Xi to Putin may help to grease the wheels for an agreement, some analysts suggest. The two nations are expected to sign about 20 different deals on a variety of topics.

"The two highly complementary economies enjoy broad cooperative prospects in investment, energy, high-tech innovation among other major fields," said Chinese Ambassador to Russia Li Hui of the two nation's relations, in a very pro-Russia Xinhua piece, which also deemed Xi's visit a "milestone."