When Russian President Vladimir Putin travels to Beijing in late June, he can rightfully take some satisfaction in his rapport with his host and Chinese counterpart, President Xi Jinping. While Moscow’s relations with other strategically important countries are troubled, there has been a remarkable strengthening of Russian-Chinese security, economic and ideological ties since Putin took charge of the Kremlin in 1999. Since then, Russia and China have cooperated more to promote common regional interests; their bilateral defense relationship has evolved to become more institutionalized and better integrated; and China has become Russia’s leading national trade partner and gateway to other Asian markets. Russia has recently resumed large-scale arms sales to China, and Sino-Russian security statements are more harmonious than ever.
A Shared World View
During their many high-level encounters, Russian and Chinese leaders regularly celebrate their close ties, affirm solidarity regarding critical issues, and sign intergovernmental agreements to launch new economic, energy and security projects, among others.