The Kremlin announced that Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin will meet via video conference on Friday, with analysts looking for any signs of a softening in the Chinese leader’s support for the Russian president after more than ten months of war in Ukraine and as China faces an unprecedented Covid outbreak.
According to Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov, the two leaders will primarily discuss bilateral relations between their countries, as well as exchange views on regional issues and their strategic partnership.
In recent years, Moscow and Beijing have grown closer, with Xi and Putin declaring a “no limits” partnership just weeks before Russia invaded Ukraine in February.
China has since refused to condemn the aggression, instead blaming NATO and the US for the conflict — and remains one of Russia’s most steadfast supporters as it becomes increasingly isolated on the international stage.
However, more than ten months into the conflict, the world looks very different — and the dynamic between both partners has shifted accordingly, according to experts.