Chinese President Xi Jinping said on Tuesday that Russia and China should work together to oppose protectionism and what he called unilateral approaches to international problems.

Xi made the comments at a news conference in Vladivostok in Russia’s far east after holding talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin on the sidelines of an economic forum.

Xi, whose country is locked in an escalating trade showdown with the United States, did not mention Washington but said an increasingly unpredictable geopolitical climate made partnership between Russia and China even more important.