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Presenting the Order of St Andrew the Apostle to President of China Xi Jinping

July 4, 2017, The Kremlin, Moscow

Vladimir Putin presented 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.

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.

The President of China has come to Russia on an official visit at the invitation of Vladimir Putin.

Speeches at the ceremony presenting the order

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: Mr Xi Jinping, ladies and gentlemen,

It is a great honour 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.

This is evidence of our recognition of your special services to the development of comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation between our states and also to the strengthening of friendship between our nations.

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.

Since then, Russian-Chinese partnership has become even stronger and continues to develop intensively. It is notable that major bilateral projects in trade, the economy, defence, military technology, culture and other areas are underway with your personal assistance. Interaction between our countries has become visibly more active on the international stage.

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.

President of the People’s Republic of China Xi Jinping (retranslated): Mr Putin, dear friends,

I would like to express my gratitude to President Vladimir Putin for his warm words.

The President has bestowed the Order of St Andrew the Apostle on me. This is a great honour. I see this not only as a personal honour 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.

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. 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.

Mr Putin and I fully agree that Chinese-Russian relations must remain free of external influence despite any changes on the international stage.

We are resolved to expand mutual support and all-round ties and to promote our cooperation in the name of success to the benefit of our nations and the rest of the world. We feel confident about the development of Chinese-Russian relations.

I will revere this order as evidence of Chinese-Russian friendship. I will work firmly and consistently to strengthen and boost our comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation.

Thank you. Thank you very much.

Vladimir Putin: Mr Xi Jinping, friends,

It is inferred in such cases as this that this is evidence of our attention for and appreciation of Russian-Chinese relations and respect for the people of China. This is true. The awarding of this order is evidence of our attitude to China and the Chinese people.

I have known Mr Xi Jinping for many years. Of course, he is the leader of a great power and nation, but he has always been a modest person who preferred to say little about himself. However, I would like to highlight that it is this man who is in charge of the Chinese foreign policy. We have been working together, which is why I have first-hand information about his great personal contribution to the development of bilateral relations and the decisions he takes on key issues of Russian-Chinese relations. I want you to know that we highly appreciate this.

This order has been awarded to you in recognition of your personal contribution to the development of our relations. We are grateful to you for this.

Please, accept my congratulations again and also best wishes to you, your family and the Chinese people.

July 4, 2017, The Kremlin, Moscow