St. Petersburg, Russia
(CNN) Chinese President Xi Jinping had the ultimate tour guide on his visit to the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum this week: His “bosom friend,” Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The Kremlin released photos late Thursday of Putin showing Xi around his hometown, the former imperial capital of tsarist Russia. The Chinese leader saw works from the Renaissance collection of the State Hermitage Museum, and got an evening boat cruise with the Kremlin leader. The rest of St. Petersburg, meanwhile, seemed to be out at the cafes.
…In advance of the forum, Russia and China rolled out a big announcement: On Wednesday, Huawei signed a deal with MTS — Russia’s largest telecoms operator — to develop 5G technologies and launch a fifth-generation network in Russia.
The deal comes as Huawei, one of China’s most important companies, is at the center of an escalating trade war between Beijing and Washington.
The Trump administration has barred Huawei from any involvement in American 5G networks over spying concerns, urging US allies to follow suit, while Huawei denies that its products pose any national security risk.