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TOPIC: china russia


Heihe Postcard: Where The China-Russia "Friendship Of Convenience" Reveals Its Limits

Facing Russia, just across the Amur River, the Chinese border city of Heihe has complicated ties with its neighbor, revealing the scars of history and a shifting power dynamic between Moscow and Beijing.

HEIHE — Perched in the cab of his truck, Sacha is about to enter the customs clearance area, his lorry loaded with car parts and equipment made in China. "I make the trip two or three times a week," explains the Russian driver, his eyes as blue as the winter sky over the Amur River which marks the border between China and Russia.

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A road bridge spanning the river links the Chinese city of Heihe to Blagovechtchensk, on the eastern edge of Russia. The goods in Sacha's truck will be on Russian soil in just another kilometer's worth of road.

The two-lane bridge was inaugurated with great fanfare last June, with fireworks going off as the first trucks passed. Authorities in both countries presented it as a symbol of their rapprochement, and an example of the "unlimited friendship" sealed between the two in February, shortly before Russian President Vladimir Putin sent his army into Ukraine.

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How Much Does Xi Jinping Care About Putin's ICC Arrest Warrant?

After the International Criminal Court issued an arrest warrant for Vladimir Putin, Chinese President Xi Jinping arrives in Moscow for a three-day visit. How far will he be willing to go to support Putin, a fugitive from international justice?


PARIS — Since Xi Jinping and Vladimir Putin said last year that the friendship between their nations was "boundless," the world has wondered where the limits really lie. The Chinese president's three-day visit to Russia, which began Monday, gives us an opportunity to assess.

Xi's visit is important in many ways, particularly because the International Criminal Court has just issued an arrest warrant against Putin for his role in forcibly sending thousands of Ukrainian children to Russia. For Putin, there could be no better response to this international court, which he does not recognize, than to appear alongside the president of a great country, which, like Russia, is also a permanent member of the UN Security Council. How isolated can Putin really be, when the leader of 1.5 billion people in China comes to visit?

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China-Russia Alliance, How The West Failed To See It Coming

A resurgent, ambitious Russia has taken the West by surprise, just when the United States was pivoting and bracing itself to face down China.


BUENOS AIRES — After the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, the biggest disruption of the Cold War was when communist China's ruler, Mao Zedong, received U.S. President Richard Nixon in Beijing. The diplomatic event was a bold, calculated gamble by the Secretary of State Henry Kissinger to divide the communist block, and paved the way for the Soviet Union's geopolitical depreciation. It also helped the United States mitigate its recent defeat in and withdrawal from Vietnam.

Has another, similar geo-strategic disruption just happened? Everything suggests there is an objective alliance between Russian President Vladimir Putin and China's leader, Xi Jinping. And this may push the United States into a trap to which it has itself helped set, with a string of mistakes that began all the way back with the Clinton administration in the 1990s.

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