China and Russia: a friendship without limits

Mark Leonard welcomes Janka Oertel and Alicja Bachulska, to discuss China-Russia relations

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Last week, the Chinese leader Xi Jinping completed a three-day visit to Moscow, his first since Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Before the war, Xi and Vladimir Putin had famously announced a “friendship without limits”. But it is unclear whether that relationship is purely transactional, a marriage of convenience, or based on more fundamental, ideological factors. 

In this week’s episode, Mark Leonard is joined by the director of ECFR’s Asia programme, Janka Oertel, and ECFR policy fellow, Alicja Bachulska, to discuss China-Russia relations. How best to explain the “friendship without limits”? What are the key takeaways from Xi’s Russia trip? And how has Xi’s embrace of Putin been perceived in central and eastern Europe? 

This podcast was recorded on 28 March 2023.  


Cover image:
Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, and Chinese President Xi Jinping shake hands after speaking to the media during a signing ceremony following their talks at The Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow
Image by picture alliance / ASSOCIATED PRESS | Mikhail Tereshchenko

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