Top Asian News 3:13 a.m. GMT

Xi meets Russia's Putin on a state visit to China that's a show of unity between the allies

BEIJING (AP) — China’s leader Xi Jinping welcomed Russia’s President Vladimir Putin on Thursday as he began a two-day state visit while Moscow presses forward with a new offensive in Ukraine. They shook hands at a welcome ceremony after Putin’s arrival in Beijing at dawn. Putin, Xi and other top officials are expected to hold meetings later that will emphasize their commitment to the “no limits” relationship they signed in 2022, just before Russia launched its full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Since then, Russia has become increasingly economically dependent on China as Western sanctions cut its access to much of the international trading system.