On his 69th birthday, Xi also pledged to deepen strategic coordination between the two countries, China’s foreign ministry said.
A separate Kremlin readout said the two leaders stressed that relations between their countries were “at an historic high” and that they were once again determined to “consistently deepen the comprehensive partnership”.
The call would be the second time the two leaders have met since Russia invaded Ukraine. They also spoke just days after Moscow launched a “special military operation.”
China, too, has refrained from referring to Russia’s actions as an invasion and has followed a thin line on the matter. It has portrayed itself as calling for peace and the maintenance of world order, while refusing to expose Russia’s actions. It has also used its state media apparatus to mimic the Kremlin lines blaming the United States and NATO for the crisis.
During Wednesday’s appeal, Xi stressed that China has always “assessed the situation independently” in Ukraine and called on “all parties” to press for a “proper solution to the Ukraine crisis” — echoing the language he used. used in a March phone conversation with US President Joe Biden.
China is “willing to continue to play its part” in promoting an “correct solution” for Ukraine, he said.
The Kremlin’s summary of the appeal went one step further, saying: “The President of China noted the legitimacy of Russia’s actions to protect fundamental national interests in the face of challenges to its security posed by outside forces. created.”
Wednesday’s call was also an opportunity for the two leaders to look at a growing trade relationship.
“Since the beginning of this year, bilateral relations have maintained solid development momentum in the face of global turbulence and transformations,” Xi said in Wednesday’s call.
The two agreed to expand cooperation in energy, finance, manufacturing and other areas, “taking into account the global economic situation made more complicated by the West’s illegal sanctions policies,” according to the Kremlin’s readout. .
The two countries also pledged to work together to strengthen communication and coordination in international bodies such as the United Nations – where the two often vote as a bloc.
“China is also ready to work with Russia to promote solidarity and cooperation among emerging market countries… over the countries’ common goal of pushing back against what they see as the global hegemony of the United States.
The call wasn’t the first time Xi and Putin — two strong men who had come together through mutual distrust of the West — had engaged on each other’s birthdays.
Their personal relationship, which Xi has described Putin as his “best and closest friend”, would also amplify the dynamics of their strengthening rapport at the national level.
In its summary of the last call from the two leaders, the Kremlin noted that the conversation was conducted in a “traditionally warm and friendly atmosphere”.