Xi’s views on Russia have not soured

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Contrary to popular opinion, argues Brian Wong, the China-Russia alliance has not soured after Xi’s meeting with Putin at the SCO summit in Samarkand last week. China is simply continuing their balancing act of affirming Western culpability for the war whilst remaining seemingly neutral on the geopolitical stage. What has changed is the extent to which this ambiguity has been picked up by Western observers.   The Sino-Russian relationship has taken on added importance in the aftermath of Russia’s decision to invade Ukraine in February 2022. Read-outs from meetings between leaders and diplomats of both countries over recent years have emphasised the “no-limits” friendship – and partnership – between China and Russia. What is notably missing – and that merits further analysis – is that neither Beijing nor Moscow has termed their relationship an “alliance”, a fact that hints at the underlying complexities and dynamics. The distinction between…

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