Chinese leader Xi Jinping and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin lashed out at American global economic dominance when they took to the stage together at Russia’s premiere business forum on Friday.

With China locked in a trade war with Washington and Russia under Western sanctions, Xi and Putin complained of “inequalities” in the global economic system and vowed to pursue closer relations between their countries.

Speaking in front of political and business leaders at the annual St Petersburg International Economic Forum, Putin accused Washington of seeking to “extend its jurisdiction to the whole world.”

Denouncing the “rhetoric of trade wars and sanctions,” Putin called for a reevaluation of the role of the US dollar in global trade and condemned America’s  pressure tactics.

He pointed to American efforts to block the building of Nord Stream 2, a major new natural gas pipeline from Russia to Germany that would bypass Ukraine, and Washington’s mounting pressure on Chinese telecom giant Huawei.

“They are attempting not just to squeeze but to unceremoniously push [Huawei] out of the global market,” Putin said.

Xi said steps needed to be taken to “overcome inequalities” in the global economic system.

Pointing to Russia as a key partner, he said China was aiming to build “beneficial cooperation on the basis of equality and mutual respect” with friendly countries.

“China is ready to share technological inventions with all partners, in particular 5G technology,” Xi said.

Best friends forever?

Xi arrived in Moscow on Wednesday for a three-day visit with Putin and described the Russian president as his “best friend” during a meeting at the Kremlin.

The two leaders spoke at the forum on Friday of their warm personal ties, with Xi recounting a boat trip down Saint Petersburg’s Neva River they had taken together the day before.

– with reporting by AFP