Putin first leader to get China’s Order of Friendship
"President Putin is the first to have been awarded this order since China established a system of decorations for services of national importance.
"Putin as the leader of a great power of world influence is the founder of current Chinese-Russian relations and always advances their development at a high level," the Chinese president said.
"Starting from 2000 President Putin has been to China 19 times on a visit or for international events. He visited China more frequently than other world leaders. He is most familiar and respected in China. President Putin is my good and close friend," Xi Jinping said.
"It is a great honor for me to be awarded this high government decoration - China’s Order of Friendship.
"I know that it was introduced just recently and today it is being awarded for the first time. I cordially thank the Chinese friends for this gesture of special attention," TASS cited Putin as saying. ■