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Putin to strengthen partnership with Xi during visit to China, aiming for an all-embracing alliance.

Russian President Vladimir Putin Visits China to Deepen Partnership with Xi Jinping

Putin’s Trip to China to Strengthen Ties

Russian President Vladimir Putin is set to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping this week to further enhance the partnership between the two countries. This visit comes as the United States looks on, witnessing the growing alliance between its two main strategic competitors.

A Noteworthy Visit Amidst Controversy

Putin’s trip to China holds significant importance as it marks his first venture outside the former Soviet Union since he faced an International Criminal Court warrant for the deportation of children from Ukraine earlier this year. Despite the controversy surrounding him, Putin will attend the Belt and Road Forum in Beijing on October 17-18.

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A ‘No Limits’ Partnership

China and Russia established a “no limits” partnership in February 2022, just days before Putin sent troops into Ukraine, sparking the deadliest land war in Europe since World War Two. This partnership has raised concerns in the United States, which considers China its biggest competitor and Russia its greatest nation-state threat.

An Unprecedented Alliance

Graham Allison, a professor at Harvard University, describes the alliance between China and Russia as the most consequential undeclared alliance in the world. This alliance between a rising systemic rival and a revanchist superpower with the largest nuclear arsenal in the world poses a challenge to the United States.

Tensions Amidst Name-Calling

The relationship between the United States and these two nations is fraught with tension. President Joe Biden has referred to Xi Jinping as a “dictator” and labeled Putin as a “killer” who should not remain in power. These remarks have not been well-received by Beijing and Moscow.

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Common Ground and Rivalries

Putin has predominantly focused on the former Soviet Union since the Ukraine war, with the exception of his visit to Iran last year. While China and Russia share a broad world view that questions Western supremacy, Xi Jinping must balance his close ties with Putin against the reality of dealing with the United States, which boasts the world’s strongest military power and the largest economy.

A Delicate Balancing Act

The United States has cautioned China against supplying weapons to Putin’s Russia, as the two nations are currently at odds due to the conflict in Ukraine. While military and nuclear cooperation will likely be discussed during Putin’s visit to China, public deals may be unlikely at this time due to the optics of the ongoing war.

The Future of Energy Cooperation

Russia aims to secure a deal to sell more natural gas to China and has plans to construct the Power of Siberia-2 pipeline, which would pass through Mongolia and have an annual capacity of 50 billion cubic meters. However, the details of this deal, including the price and construction costs, remain uncertain.

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