Russian President Vladimir Putin is beginning a three-day visit to China, with energy and foreign policy expected to dominate the agenda.
Putin said ahead of the trip that he wanted to further boost booming bilateral trade, which reached $84 billion last year.
The Syrian crisis is also expected to be discussed during the talks.
Russia and China have resisted Western pressure to remove President Bashar al-Assad from power amid ongoing unrest.
China's envoy to the UN, Li Baodong, has described Syria as one of the most pressing issues on the agenda of the Security Council.
Beijing currently holds the council's rotating presidency, and Li urged all parties to immediately implement the peace plan of UN envoy Kofi Annan.
Both countries have blocked two United Nations resolutions criticising the government in Damascus.
But with the situation in Syria deteriorating, they are once again coming under pressure from other world leaders to help stop the conflict.