Putin Strengthens Ties with China Amidst Global Tensions

Putin Strengthens Ties with China Amidst Global Tensions

Russian President Vladimir Putin is greeted by a ceremonial guard in Beijing on Thursday. Photograph: Anadolu/Getty Images

Russian President Vladimir Putin is in Harbin, China, a city once called “Little Moscow” due to its significant Russian population and architecture. This visit follows his meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping, where they pledged to deepen their military and economic ties.

Putin praised the “warm and comradely” talks with Xi, who reciprocated by calling their friendship “everlasting.” China’s state-run Global Times lauded their relationship as a model for international relations, contributing to regional and global peace and stability.

However, China faces pressure from the West not to supply Russia with goods that could be used in its war against Ukraine. Bilateral trade between the two nations hit a record $240.1bn last year, with signs of more goods, including dual-use technology, reaching Russia via third countries.

Putin’s visit to China coincides with Russia’s offensive in Ukraine’s Kharkiv region, which has displaced nearly 8,000 people. The Russian leader expressed gratitude to China for its efforts to resolve the Ukraine crisis.

Experts say the Sino-Russian relationship offers strategic benefits, especially amidst tensions with Europe and the US. China, once the junior partner of Moscow, remains Russia’s most powerful ally.

Putin, accompanied by a large trade delegation, will attend the opening ceremony of a Russia-China trade expo and hold a press conference. This visit comes as the US imposes new tariffs on Chinese imports, affecting $18bn in goods, including a 100% tariff on Chinese-made electric vehicles.

Former US President Donald Trump accused Putin and Xi of planning to “do damage.” Meanwhile, Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, denied arms exchanges with Russia, stating that their recently developed weapons were not for sale.

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