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Global Insights: In Sochi, Xi and Putin Put China-Russia Ties on Display

Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014

In addition to the magnificent opening ceremony and the admirable performance of the athletes on display at the Winter Olympics, Sochi has seen a remarkable show of solidarity between the host, Russian President Vladimir Putin, and his most important visitor, Chinese President Xi Jinping.

The Chinese government is underscoring the foreign policy significance of Xi’s decision to go to Sochi, which marks the first time a Chinese leader has attended a major foreign sporting event. The visit is Xi’s first foreign trip this year, and Russia was also his first foreign destination after becoming president last year. Since then he has met Putin at four additional major international events, taking care to hold separate bilateral talks on each occasion. Clearly, despite a generally realpolitik foreign policy, China has made targeted personal diplomacy with Putin a priority. ...

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