Chinese President Xi Jinping, left, and Russian President Vladimir Putin toast as they taste a food, during a visit to an exhibition during the Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivostok, Russia, Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018. (Sergei Bobylev/TASS News Agency Pool Photo via AP)

Putin treats China's leader to pancakes, vodka at forum

September 11, 2018 - 8:29 am

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia (AP) — Russian President Vladimir Putin has treated Chinese President Xi Jinping to Russian pancakes in a show of warm personal ties between the two leaders.

The two leaders ate pancakes with caviar and had shots of vodka at an exhibition at the sidelines of an economic forum in the far eastern port of Vladivostok.

Beijing and Moscow have developed a "strategic partnership" reflecting their shared opposition to the "unipolar" world, the term they use to describe perceived U.S. global domination.

The rapprochement has been driven by a strong personal relationship between Putin and Xi, seen as the most powerful Chinese leader since Mao Zedong. The two have met nearly 30 times, and Putin said that the Chinese president is the only world leader whom he once invited to celebrate his birthday.