The relationship between Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping, the leaders of Russia and China respectively, is one that has been gradually strengthening over time. From their shared positions as leaders of superpower nations to their mutual understanding and agreement on several key issues, the bond between the two is arguably at its strongest point so far.
Their relationship is reported to have started in 2013, when a Chinese delegation was sent to Moscow shortly after Xi took office as President. Since then, Putin and Xi Jinping have met over 30 times, with each meeting marked by mutual congratulations and shared sentiments on global affairs.
Fundamentally, both Putin and Xi stand against a world order largely influenced by the West. They share criticisms of Western-style democracy and have adopted autocratic styles of governance in their respective states. This unifies them in their opposition to the established Western norms and gives them greater influence in proposing and implementing alternative solutions.
What’s particularly striking is the nature of their economic collaboration. In 2014, amid sanctions from the West for Russia’s annexation of Crimea, Xi Jinping signed an agreement that assured Putin of China’s financial support. Their economic partnership continued to prosper with the launch of the Power of Siberia gas pipeline in 2019, which marked a pivotal moment in Russia-China ties.
So, what exactly do Putin and Xi aim to achieve? Ultimately, their goal appears to be a balance of power. The duo sees an opportunity to challenge the Western dominance in various parts of the world, from economics to politics. They are also keen on ensuring their countries’ prosperity and security, which is why they frequently emphasize mutual support on issues like Taiwan for China and Ukraine for Russia.
However, despite the closeness, there are still differences between Russia and China – they have their own interests to protect and their relationship may not necessarily always be aligned. But, as long as their shared goals outweigh their individual objectives, it seems like Putin and Xi’s relationship will remain close, giving them a combined strength to challenge Western dominance.
In conclusion, the relationship between Putin and Xi Jinping is one forged in mutual understanding, economic cooperation, and shared goals. As they continue to strengthen their ties, we are likely to see their influence in international politics grow.