Chinese leader Xi Jinping and his wife hosted a banquet at the Great Hall of the People on Feb. 5 to welcome international elites attending the Beijing Winter Olympics opening ceremony.
State media CCTV did not report on the specific invitees present at the feast. Still, according to its footage, there were around 25 dignitaries, and Russian President Vladimir Putin was not one of them.
However, he was present at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Beijing on Feb. 4, which fewer international officials attended than in the 2008 Olympics.
On that day, Putin and Xi also celebrated the deals reached between both governments where Russia will export oil, natural gas, wheat, and other commodities to China.
The agreement is estimated to be worth $117.5 billion.
Russia’s Rosneft Oil said on its website on the same day that it had signed with China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) a 10-year agreement on an oil supply of 100 million tons to be delivered via Kazakhstan. The crude oil market price dictates the value of each delivery at that time, and the present estimate is worth $80 billion.
Additionally, Gazprom, which has a monopoly on Russian gas exports via its pipeline, has pledged to supply CNPC with 10 billion cubic meters of gas per year over a 30-year term.
The deals signaled the strengthening of ties between both countries as their relationships with the West deteriorated.
Due to Beijing’s violation of human rights and pandemic safety, about 20 countries and regions, including the U.S., Canada, Australia, the UK, Japan, and Germany, had decided to skip sending official representatives to the major sports event in Beijing.
Russia, meanwhile, is in tension with global democratic governments over Ukraine.
According to Xinhua News Agency, the dignitaries who attended the Winter Olympics opening ceremony included Kazakhstan President Tokayev, Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan, Ecuadorian President Guillermo Lasso, and other Central Asian heads of state. Many of the state leaders had strained relations with Western democracies.