President Vladimir Putin trumpeted Russia’s "fully fledged partnership” with China as he met Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping for the second time in less than two months, highlighting Moscow’s deepening embrace of Beijing.

Russo-Chinese ties "are at their best in history,” Putin said at the meeting on the sidelines of a security summit on Wednesday in Astana, Kazakhstan. "They’re built on equality, mutual benefit and respect for each other’s sovereignty.”

Xi said, "My dear friend, I am very happy at our new meeting.”