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Putin arrives in China's 'Little Moscow' as allies aim to deepen trade - BBC News Putin arrives in China's 'Little Moscow' as allies aim to deepen trade - BBC News
(32 minutes later)
Frances Mao
Russian President Vladimir Putin is on the second day of his trip to China, visiting Harbin - the capital of China's north-eastern Heilongjiang province, which shares a border with Russia. Live reporter
Here's what's been happening: For China, their main concern is Ukraine. Xi Jinping wants to know what Russian President Vladimir Putin's strategy is and they've been concerned by his nuclear threats.
On day two, Putin's focus is on trade and how he can support Russia's war-time economy "We expect Xi will be firm (as he was previously) that any - even limited - use of tactical nuclear weapons by Russia will be a red line for Beijing," says Philipp Ivanov from the Asia Society Policy Institute.
The Russian president has delivered the opening address at the Russia-China Expo, in Harbin, and says the energy ties between the two countries will continue to grow. Putin has also said the Russia-China alliance acts as a guarantor of energy security and enhanced well-being between the two countries China has attempted to maintain a stance of studied neutrality on the war in Ukraine - it's clear Beijing is also hedging its bets if Russia loses.
Putin has also been laying flowers at a memorial to Soviet soldiers in Harbin, who died during the liberation of north-east China from the Japanese in the 1940s But it does view the war almost as a proxy war, says Natasha Kuhrt from King's College London. "In a sense Russia fights western hegemonism on China’s behalf," she adds.
While Putin is in China, Moscow's top energy official has said Russia is hoping to see significant progress towards finalising an agreement on the "Power of Siberia 2" project, which would allow Russia to deliver natural gas to China via Mongolia Beyond Ukraine, analysts say China also cares about:
Before arriving in Harbin, Putin was hosted by Chinese President Xi Jinping in Zhongnanhai - a compound where China's leaders work and reside and which is reserved only for China's closest allies North Korea: Putin has very publicly fostered closer ties with the country's leader Kim Jong Un and is using North Korean weapons on the battlefield. China will want to make sure Russia is still restrained in what type of military tech it is giving the North Koreans, analysts say
Putin arrived in Beijing early on Thursday in what is his first state visit overseas since winning his fifth term in office last March, an election that was widely criticised by the West as undemocratic UN and security: China benefits from Russian diplomatic experience at the UN and Russia’s role as a security provider in Central Asia
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