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Vladimir Putin humiliated as China visit exposes Xi as 'stronger' partner in alliance


Vladimir Putin has been forced to accept a minor role in his growing alliance with Xi Jinping to ensure access to sources Russia desperately needs, an expert has claimed.

Putin jetted off to China for the second time in six months to meet with his Chinese counterpart in a likely effort to expand and strengthen existing economic and military agreements.

Beijing has provided Moscow with a “real lifeline”, noted Carnegie Russia Eurasia Center expert Alexandra Prokopenko, as other international stakeholders turned their backs on Putin following the invasion of Ukraine.

She said: “China is not only a market for Russian oil and gas, which is the major source of the currency for the Russian budget, but also China has become a very important source of imports to Russia.”

The crucial position Beijing has taken on has left Putin holding a secondary role to ally Xi – a spot he had to be willing to step into if only to secure the benefits that come with a close alliance with one of the world’s biggest economic markets.

“It’s the first foreign trip of Putin’s new presidential term and signals his priorities.

“But in terms of the optics – two strongmen leaders defying Western pressure – one of them is clearly stronger than the other.

Putin and Xi have met over 40 times and developed strong personal ties to bolster their “strategic partnership” as they both face soaring tensions with the West.

Xi last travelled to Moscow in March 2023, where they addressed each other as “dear friends” and exchanged compliments.

Putin went to Beijing in October for a summit of China’s Belt and Road infrastructure initiative.

Putin told China’s official news agency Xinhua before Thursday’s two-day visit that his meetings with Xi are “a dialogue between old friends” and a “fruitful exchange of views on the most topical issues on the bilateral and international agenda.”

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