Xi-Putin Summit Highlights Growing Ties

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Russian President Vladimir Putin meets Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing today in a highly choreographed display of unity.

  • It has been nearly two years since Chinese President Xi Jinping—largely cloistered during the pandemic—has met face-to-face with another foreign leader.
  • The fact that Xi has now chosen to meet Putin in a highly symbolic summit on the day the Olympic Games officially begin illustrates the two leaders’ desire to display growing Russia-China relations.
  • Economic and political ties between the two countries have grown stronger since 2014, when Russia annexed the Ukrainian peninsula of Crimea.
  • When the US and European nations responded with sanctions, isolating Russia, Putin turned to China for support.
  • Both authoritarian leaders have an interest in undermining the US, which they view as their foremost global rival.
  • As Putin deploys troops to the border of Ukraine, Chinese leaders have been lending support, depicting the US and NATO as the aggressors.
  • Foreign policy analysts, however, say Beijing’s support for Putin is far from absolute. The summit today will help determine how far Beijing is willing to go to support Putin’s threat against Ukraine.
The Guardian
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