Russian President Vladimir Putin Thursday called the ongoing 19th National Congress of the Communist Party of China (CPC) in Beijing "unprecedentedly open" and said Russia has "great cooperation plans" with China.[Special Coverage]
"We are very closely following the CPC congress, which is unprecedentedly open. We see difficulties as well as possibilities," he said at a meeting of the Russian think tank Valdai Discussion Club here.
Putin called China a major propeller of the global economy. Although China's GDP expansion slightly slowed to 6.8 percent in the third quarter of 2017, he believes the ongoing structural reform will lead to sustainable growth.
"We have great cooperation plans with China in the areas of space, high-tech and energy. These are the bases for the future development of Russia-China relations," Putin said.
The Russian president said he and Xi call each other friends publicly as "this corresponds to the level of our personal relationship," while they defend the interests of their own country.
"On each issue we are always able to find a consensus and come to an agreement, which turns out to be beneficial to both countries. We are moving forward, instead of going round," Putin said.