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Russian President Vladimir Putin visited China for a two-day state visit with Chinese leader Xi Jinping, marking a deepening of strategic ties between the two countries. This visit comes at a time when Putin is seeking further trade and political support from China as Russia strengthens its partnership with Beijing. Putin aims to secure a deal for the Power of Siberia 2 natural gas pipeline, garner Chinese support for the war in Ukraine, access Chinese financial markets, and utilize the Chinese currency for trade. However, progress on these fronts has been limited, and Putin’s visit aims to assess what further support he can receive from China.

During an interview ahead of the visit, Putin emphasized the rapid development of Russia-China economic and trade relations in response to external challenges and crises. He also expressed support for China’s peace proposal on the Ukraine war and reiterated Russia’s willingness to engage in dialogue to resolve the conflict. Despite China’s 12-point plan for ending the war in Ukraine receiving criticism from Western allies, Putin remains committed to his military intervention in Ukraine and is using his diplomatic ties with China to press his advantages. This visit highlights the importance of the Russia-China alliance in navigating geopolitical challenges and addressing shared interests.

The Biden administration’s announcement of stiff new tariff rates on Chinese imports has added pressure on Beijing and promoted closer ties between China and Russia. With the US seeking to contain China economically and strategically, Chinese leaders are turning to Moscow for support and solidarity. The imposition of tariffs on Chinese exports, particularly in key sectors like electric vehicles, is sending a clear message to Beijing that the US is challenging China’s global influence. As a result, China is compelled to strengthen its relationship with Russia as a means of countering US pressure and boosting its own strategic position.

As tensions between China and the US continue to escalate, the prospect of closer collaboration between China and Russia seems increasingly likely. Political scientist Ian Bremmer suggests that ongoing US efforts to contain China will inevitably drive Beijing further into the arms of Moscow. The combination of economic pressure, military support for Russia, and broader geopolitical considerations is pushing China and Russia towards a more robust partnership. Both countries are seeking to counterbalance Western influence and assert their own interests in a changing global landscape.

Overall, Putin’s visit to China underscores the growing partnership between Russia and China, as both countries seek to strengthen their economic ties, political cooperation, and strategic alignment. The meeting between Putin and Xi Jinping highlights the shared interests of both nations in the face of external challenges and the need for mutual support in navigating complex geopolitical dynamics. As Russia and China continue to deepen their relationship, the implications for global power dynamics and international relations are significant, particularly in the context of competing interests and alliances on the world stage.

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