China and Russia have promised to maintain their special relationship and close exchanges amid the Covid-19 outbreak.
While Moscow was slow to provide help and had even threatened to deport three Chinese people who tested positive for the coronavirus that causes the disease, observers suggested this was down to internal confusion following the recent shake-up in the Russian government.
Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin will meet at least three times this year, according to Russia's ambassador to China Andrey Densiov.
Xi will first go to Moscow in May to commemorate the 75th anniversary of the Soviet Union's victory in the second world war, and will also visit St Petersburg in July. In return, Putin will visit China later in the year.
"We have a lot of meetings and a lot of trips but every year there is the main event " the state or official visit. Last year Xi Jinping came on a visit to our country so this year it's our turn", Denisov told Russian media earlier this week.
Last weekend 23 tonnes of medical supplies donated by Russia arrived in Wuhan, the epicentre of the Covid-19 outbreak, which was welcomed by the Chinese government as a demonstration of "the high level of our comprehensive strategic partnership" and "deep bond of mutual assistance".
But while Russia has been officially designated as China's highest level of partner, it was slow to offer help when news of the outbreak first emerged and was also one of the first countries to shut down its 4,300km (2,670-mile) land border with China.
Earlier this month Russia's new Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin threatened to deport foreigners suffering from the disease, but the following day the Chinese embassy said the Russians had clarified that they would treat all those affected.
"It was a little surprising that Russia was not among the first 20 countries that made donations to China in the epidemic," said Li Lifan, a researcher at Shanghai Academy of Social Sciences, noting that the deportation clarification had only come from the Chinese side.
"But my belief is that there are some communication problems, which could also be related to the transition in their government."
Li said many members of the Mishustin cabinet " including the new prime minister himself " were technocrats whose diplomatic instincts may not be the sharpest.
"But the special relationship between the two countries has been established quite solidly. So we could expect the mutual support to continue to develop during and after the virus outbreak."
The top leadership of the two countries have maintained frequent contact and the two presidents have personally met more than 30 times since 2013.
Last year alone, Xi paid a state visit to Moscow in June, while Putin attended China's Belt and Road Initiative summit in Beijing. The also met on the sidelines of some other summits, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation and BRICS.
Putin himself has written to Xi expressing sympathy and highly commended China's epidemic control measures.
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