Russian President Vladimir Putin (L) and Chinese President Xi Jinping pose for a photo Friday during a summit in Beijing, China. Photo by Alexei Druzhinin/Kremlin/Sputnik/EPA-EFE
Feb. 4 (UPI) -- Russian President Vladimir Putin met on Friday with Chinese President Xi Jinping ahead of the start of the 2022 Winter Olympics in Beijing, pledging future cooperation and denouncing the United States and Western allies.
Putin and Xi met in Beijing just hours before the scheduled start of the Games' Opening Ceremony. At the summit, they called on NATO to rule out future expansion -- especially including Ukraine -- and abandon "the ideological approaches of the Cold War."
The United States has criticized China over human rights abuses and Russia for threatening Ukraine with a buildup of troops along their borders.
A document signed by both countries called on the United States and its Western allies to "respect the sovereignty, security and interests of other countries, the diversity of their civilizational and cultural-historical patterns, and treat the peaceful development of other states objectively and fairly," according to The Guardian.
In a statement released by Chinese state-run news agency Xinhua, Xi said he's looking forward to working with Putin on improving "bilateral relations" under a new agreement.
"Xi said he is willing to work with Putin to promote the continuous transformation of high-level mutual trust between China and Russia into results of cooperation in all fields and bring real benefits to the people of the two countries," the statement said.
On Thursday, Putin praised the relationship between Russia and China, saying it has been forged by centuries of tradition, friendship and trust.
"We highly appreciate that Russian-Chinese relations of comprehensive partnership and strategic cooperation, entering a new era, have reached an unprecedented level and have become a model of efficiency, responsibility and aspiration for the future," Putin said, according to state-run news agency TASS.
The Winter Olympics begin on Friday and run through Feb. 20.