May.20 - Chinese president Xi Jinping welcomes Russian president Vladimir Putin in a ceremony on the first day of a two-day summit in Shanghai. Sarah Toms reports.
China has rolled out the red carpet for the visit of Russian President Vladimir Putin. Putin's arrival in Shanghai ahead of an Asia conference was received with all the full pomp and circumstance. The two countries are --for the moment in step -- and hoping to deepen ties. Ahead of his visit Putin said the cooperation between China and Russia was "at its highest level in history". The summit is drawing delegations from nearly 40 countries and organisations and it comes as both countries face international criticism. Russia has been condemned for its part in the annexation of Crimea from Ukraine and Moscow has also deployed troops near the border of Ukraine, sparking concerns about a possible invasion. For its part, China has attracted criticism for recent actions in the South China Sea. But while both countries see eye-to eye on many diplomatic issues, Russia is also looking to pursue an energy deal, which would see it pumping gas to China. This suits Beijing's drive to switch from coal use to cleaner fuels But as a deal has yet to be reached, behind the scenes China may be driving a harder bargain than first thought.