The Latest: Amid trade war, China's Xi heads to Moscow

The Latest on rising trade tensions between the U.S. and China (all times local):

12:20 p.m.

Chinese President Xi Jinping is talking up the Chinese economy's resilience as he heads to Moscow for a state visit affirming increasingly close ties between the former Cold War rivals.

In interviews published Wednesday, Xi told Russian journalists Chinese consumer demand is driving growth despite the trade war with the United States.

The trip to Moscow highlights Beijing's efforts to drum up support both at home and abroad as the President Donald Trump's administration pushes China to do more to redress a huge perennial trade surplus and end policies that U.S. and other foreign companies and governments say violate Beijing's market-opening commitments.

While Russia has relatively little heft in global trade, Xi can be assured of a friendly audience when he defends China's position in the dispute.