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What to know about Vladimir Putin’s visit to China

Russian President Vladimir Putin’s visit to China starting Thursday underlines an increasingly close partnership between the two allies who oppose the U.S.-led democratic order.

China, led by President Xi Jinping, has offered robust diplomatic support to Moscow after its invasion of Ukraine and has emerged as a top export market for Russian oil and gas, helping fill the Kremlin’s war coffers. Russia also has relied on China as the main source of high-tech imports to keep its military machine running.

Once Communist rivals, the two countries that share a 4,200-kilometer (2,600-mile) border have become closer in recent years. A look at that relationship:


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 traveled to Moscow in March 2023, where they addressed each other as “dear friend” 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.”


Putin said he chose China for his first trip abroad after being inaugurated to a fifth term in office this month because of the “unprecedented level of strategic partnership between our countries.” Beijing has declared it a “no-limits” friendship.

Both Xi and Putin see Western efforts to spread democracy as an attempt to de-legitimize them, and they believe that authoritarian regimes are better for confronting the