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Vladimir Putin to hold diplomatic call with Xi Jinping


Vladimir Putin to hold diplomatic call with Xi Jinping

Putin Xi
Photo: AFP / Getty

Russian President Vladimir Putin will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping virtually today to evaluate ongoing and future strategic bilateral partnerships.

The meeting coincides with the 20th anniversary of the Russia-China Treaty on Good-Neighborliness and Friendly Cooperation and comes as the two nations continue to increase bilateral cooperation, especially militarily. In 2017 they signed a new roadmap for military cooperation and are allegedly considering a new defense cooperation agreement. Russian arms sales to China, $37 billion worth since 1992, are a key component of the Sino-Russian relationship.

By continuing to work with China as a close strategic partner, Russia does little to jeopardize its own security while creating a troubling partnership for the West. However, the relationship will likely begin to show signs of strain in the coming years. Expect Russian weapons sales to China to slow. Russia’s strategy of selling less advanced weapons systems to maintain its technological lead subverts Beijing’s push for an independent advanced military industrial complex.

Closer ties with China will complicate Russia’s military relationships with China’s regional opponents. Countries like India and Vietnam will likely shift from Russia and opt for increased Western arms sales in the face of a more coordinated Russo-Chinese military partnership.

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