Putin and Xi’s ‘No-Limits’ Friendship to be Tested During State Visit to China

Putin and Xi's 'No-Limits' Friendship

Russia and China, facing challenges from the West, seek to further distance themselves from Western influence. Vladimir Putin is set to visit Beijing to meet Xi Jinping, aiming to strengthen their most important international relationship.

Vladimir Putin, having secured a mandate to extend his rule in Russia for three decades, is expected to travel to Beijing on Thursday for a state visit. He will meet with Xi Jinping to reinforce their “no-limits” friendship, announced in February 2022 as a counterbalance to US global influence. This partnership has faced pressure as the Biden administration attempted to isolate Russia from its Chinese lifeline after the full-scale invasion of Ukraine.

As the Biden administration imposed tariffs on $18bn of Chinese imports on Tuesday, the strength of Xi and Putin’s relationship, based on mutual opposition to a Washington-led global consensus, is likely to be bolstered this week. Xi and Putin, along with policy teams specializing in trade, energy, and security cooperation, will search for ways to quietly circumvent US restrictions that have reduced Chinese exports to Russia.

Analysts in China and Russia suggest that while Beijing would prefer a quick end to the fighting in Ukraine, it will continue to prioritize trade and diplomatic relations with Moscow over the West. Russia, unwilling to abandon the war, will increasingly rely on China as a trade partner and diplomatic ally in its deepening conflict with the West.

In an interview with Xinhua state news agency, Putin praised the economic ties between the two countries, saying they have reached their highest level ever despite the difficult global situation.

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