SOCHI - Visiting Chinese President Xi Jinping met his Russian counterpart, Vladimir Putin, here Thursday for talks on bilateral ties.
While expressing his delight to be invited to the opening ceremony of the 22nd Winter Olympic Games, Xi referred to the pleasant concurrence of the Sochi Olympics and the Chinese Spring Festival.
Sochi's hosting of the major international sports event serves as a symbol that Russia is on its way to prosperity under the leadership of Putin, added the Chinese president.
Calling China and Russia good neighbors, good partners and good friends, Xi said he came to Russia to offer his congratulations in person as is customary for the Chinese people to do upon their neighbors' joyous occasions.
He also voiced his confidence that, with Russia's careful preparations, the Sochi Winter Olympics will be a splendid and unforgettable sports event and make fresh contributions to the Olympic cause.
Additionally, Xi extended his wishes that the Sochi Winter Olympic Games be a complete success and that Chinese and Russian athletes score good results.
For his part, Putin conveyed his hearty welcome to Xi and thanked the Chinese president for travelling to Sochi to share the magnificent occasion with the Russian people.
Noting that the Spring Festival is a time for the Chinese people to visit relatives and friends, Putin said Xi's trip to Russia is exactly a reunion with a good friend.
The Russian president also wished Xi and the Chinese people a happy Lunar New Year and the Chinese athletes excellent results in the Sochi Olympic Games.
During the meeting, their first this year, the two leaders will also exchange views on bilateral cooperation in large projects and people-to-people exchanges as well as on major global and regional issues.
Xi arrived in this Russian resort city earlier Thursday to attend the opening ceremony of the 22nd Winter Olympic Games. The three-day visit is his first foreign trip this year.
Talks between Xi and Putin are believed to mark a "good start" for the advancement of bilateral ties in 2014.