Russian President Vladimir Putin is a talented person. The seasoned politician and former KGB official recently showcased his musical skills in China, as he sat down at a piano and played Soviet songs on May 14.
The Russian leader showed off his talent on the sidelines of the international ‘One Belt, One Road’ forum meeting in Beijing. President Putin, who visited China to attend May 14-15 One Belt-One Road (OBOR) forum meeting, decided to show off his softer side ahead of his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping.
The Chinese media reported that the visiting Russian leader, known for his passion for the outdoors, participated in a discussion on a USD 1 trillion infrastructure plan that strives to revive the ancient Silk Road in the morning. As one of the forum’s keynote speakers, he backed the construction of transport corridors and the creation of large-scale energy projects, saying that China’s ‘New Silk Road’ initiative is the “civilisation project for the future”, which “should bring stability and prosperity along its way”.
Later, he arrived at his Chinese counterpart’s residence in Beijing for a one-to-one meeting. Upon his arrival at President Xi’s residence, Putin found a piano at Xi’s guest room. He immediately decided to demonstrate his music talents and played two Soviet classics – ‘Moscow Windows’ and ‘City on the Free Neva’ – on Xi’s piano.
It was not the first time when President Putin demonstrated his music talents. He participated in a charity concert with a jazz band to play and sing ‘Blueberry Hills’ in 2010. However, he concentrated only on hunting and fishing in recent years. Occupied with the annexation of Crimea, the ongoing crisis in eastern Ukraine and the Russian military’s role in Syria, Putin preferred to demonstrate his virile side in Kremlin-distributed pictures of him hunting and fishing.
By playing the piano, Putin not only promoted his country, but also stole the show at China’s signature foreign policy event. However, the Chinese officials were not pleased to see the Russian president steal the show. “The official Chinese news media pointedly made little mention of the piano performance,” the New York Times reported.