The EconomistThe Economist

What does Xi Jinping want from Vladimir Putin?

19 Mar 2023 · 11 min read

The Economist discusses the significance of Xi Jinping's visit to Moscow, the potential weapons deal between China and Russia, and how it could shift the balance of global influence.

Curated by informed

Ever since the second world war geopolitics have been moulded by the “strategic triangle” between China, Russia and America. Co-ordination between Mao Zedong and Josef Stalin in the early 1950s fuelled American determination to halt the spread of communism. That led to America fighting wars in Korea and Vietnam, its commitment to defend Taiwan, and multiple proxy conflicts elsewhere.

A decade later Mao’s schism with Nikita Khrushchev laid the ground for an American rapprochement with China. That brought covert Chinese assistance in the fight against Soviet forces in Afghanistan, which helped to end the cold war. It also underpinned the decades-long run of economic growth that has transformed China into a global power—and a geopolitical rival to America.

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