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Vladimir Putin meets China's Xi Jinping as Ukraine looms large - BBC News Putin meets Xi in China state visit as Ukraine sees war setback - BBC News
(32 minutes later)
Xi and Putin have moved on to "large group talks" involving trade and business members, according to state media CCTV. Laura Bicker
Following this, they are expected to sign some trade agreements. A key thing to watch out for is whether China will moderate its economic support for Russia so as to manage the threats of the EU and US sanctions. And if so, how? Reporting from Beijing
Any new deals involving energy, food, and transport corridors are the most reliable indicators of a deepening of the partnership, said China expert Philipp Ivanov from the Asia Society Policy Institute. As the two leaders meet, Putin will want to know he can rely on trade with China as it has become Russia’s lifeline since Western sanctions were imposed for its invasion of Ukraine.
"Our assessment is that China will not dramatically limit its economic support but will seek more covert channels of providing it through, for example, third-country transit and transactions," he said. He told Chinese state media earlier that the relationship between the two countries had reached its "highest level ever".
But while Xi will want to stand shoulder to shoulder with Putin to help counter what they see as a US-led world order, he may not be willing to risk US and European sanctions for aiding Russia’s war at a time when China is relying on exports to revive its sluggish economy.
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