Putin’s arrival in China strengthens bond with Xi Jinping

Putin’s state visit to Beijing aims to bolster Russia’s economy amid sanctions, highlighting the deepening ties between Russia and China.

Vladimir Putin’s state visit to Beijing has commenced, highlighting his close ties with Chinese President Xi Jinping and seeking to reinforce support for Russia’s economy amidst wartime challenges.

Arriving early Thursday morning, Putin’s arrival was marked by an honour guard and extensive security measures, as captured in footage by China’s state broadcaster CCTV. This visit underscores the deepening economic and political alliance between Russia and China, particularly in the face of heightened sanctions from Western nations following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in 2022.

Amid escalating tensions with the West, Russia has increasingly turned to China for economic support, with trade between the two nations surging since the outbreak of war. However, recent declines in Chinese exports to Russia, coupled with threats of sanctions targeting Chinese banks, suggest a cautious approach from Beijing.

During his 43rd meeting with President Xi, Putin is expected to explore strategies to mitigate the impact of sanctions and bolster economic cooperation. While China has refrained from condemning Russia’s actions in Ukraine, it faces challenges in navigating strained relations with the U.S., exemplified by President Biden’s recent announcement of tariffs on Chinese goods.

The visit comes amidst Beijing’s efforts to stabilize its crucial trade markets in the EU and the U.S., crucial for China’s status as the world’s largest exporter. Despite diversification efforts into emerging markets, China remains reliant on access to developed markets for sustained economic growth.

Trade dynamics with China are poised to be a central issue in the upcoming U.S. presidential election, with Biden’s tariff announcement signalling a firm stance on trade relations.