Chinese and Russian state media issued large doses of bromides as President Xi Jinping embarked on a state visit to meet President Vladimir Putin on July 3 and 4:
- Xinhua sappily remarked, “China and Russia have completely resolved their border issues left over by history, turning the 4,300-km boundary line into a bond of friendship between the two peoples,” and said that Xi noted Russia and China as each other’s “most trustworthy strategic partner.”
- Russian state media RT highlighted $10 billion in deals to be signed by the two presidents during the visit, and the same outlet has recently not been shy about giving Xi flattering coverage. Xi also stated in an interview with Russian media that China-Russia relations are at their “best time in history,” Xinhua reported.
- Not everyone sees it that way. The South China Morning Post reports that “deep-rooted mistrust” continues to plague Chinese-Russian relations, and quotes Jonathan Hillman, an Asian political expert at the Centre for Strategic and International Studies, as saying, “The rhetoric…has not been matched by progress on the ground.”
- Xi may have his eye on advancing his signature Belt and Road policy by giving Russia a larger role in the initiative, SCMP says, as the two countries are set to sign an agreement to study the feasibility of linking Belt and Road with Russia’s “Eurasian Economic Union,” which it proposed in 2014.
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