Russia’s President Vladimir Putin presented on Tuesday the Order of St Andrew the Apostle to President of China Xi Jinping. The ceremony was held in the St Andrew Hall of the Grand Kremlin Palace.
According to the Kremlin, the Order of St Andrew the Apostle is awarded to prominent statesmen and public figures and representatives of science, culture, the arts and various industries for their exceptional services in promoting the prosperity, greatness and glory of Russia. The order can also be awarded to foreign heads of state for outstanding services to Russia.
China’s President Xi Jinping is in Russia on an official visit at the invitation of Vladimir Putin.
Speaking at the presentation, Putin said that it was, “a great honor to present the highest order of the Russian Federation – the Order of St Andrew the Apostle – to our dear friend, President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping.”
Putin said that the award was in recognition of Xi Jinping’s special services to the development of comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation between the two countries and also to the strengthening of friendship between Russia and China.
“Mr Xi Jinping, my dear friend. You have always been a consistent advocate of close cooperation between Russia and China based on equality, trust, openness and respect for one another’s interests. Evidence of this attitude is the fact that Russia was the first foreign country you visited as the leader of China in 2013. Such friendly gestures are worth a great deal. We know this very well and appreciate it,” Putin said.
According to Putin the Russian-Chinese partnership has become even stronger and continues to develop intensively, especially in the area of major bilateral projects in trade, the economy, defence, military technology and culture.
“Mr President, I wholeheartedly wish all the best, success, health and well-being to you and peace, stability and prosperity to the friendly Chinese people,” Putin said.
Responding to the presentation, Xi Jinping said, “The President has bestowed the Order of St Andrew the Apostle on me. This is a great honor. I see this not only as a personal honor but also as evidence of our Russian partners’ attention to the development of Chinese-Russian relations and also as proof of the feeling of sincere friendship the Russian people have for the people of China. I would like to use this occasion to express my gratitude to President Putin personally and to the friendly Russian people.”
Xi Jinping said that this is probably the best period in the history of Chinese-Russian comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation.
“Our countries are working in the spirit of equality and trust, mutual support, prosperity and centuries-long friendship to strengthen mutual political trust and to promote the alignment of the Belt and Road initiative and the EAEU,” Xi Jinping said. “By closely coordinating their actions on the international stage, the two sides are promoting their individual development and mutual prosperity. This provides a vital impetus and adds positive energy to the maintenance of peace and stability on the planet.”