Russia's Pivot to China Is Reduced to High-Level Bonhomie

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Baev, Pavel K. (2016) Russia's Pivot to China Is Reduced to High-Level Bonhomie, Eurasia Daily Monitor (1–2). 27 June.

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Expectations regarding President Vladimir Putin’s visit to Beijing on Saturday (June 25) had been rather subdued, and the modest results were mostly immaterial.

Putin may enjoy the red carpet treatment in Beijing, but he cannot connect with the Chinese political culture, including its severe clampdown on corruption; and there is hardly any real trust between him and Xi. Putin’s overlapping circles of courtiers, siloviki (security services personnel) and oligarchs have no illusions that China would come to Russia’s rescue in the deepening crisis, and their main game plans involve manipulations of various European assets. The China “card” is not particularly useful in these games, largely because the Chinese are resolutely not playing along.

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