Putin's China pivot: All tactics, no trust
For those who remember the days when Chinese leaders were supplicants to Moscow, seeking economic aid and diplomatic favors, Russian President Vladimir Putin's state visit to Beijing this week was astonishing, even surreal.
On the surface, Putin remains as confident as ever. But everyone watching the swaggering Russian president knows that he had come to Beijing with the proverbial cup in hand. Isolated internationally after his land grab in Crimea, Putin is desperate for support abroad, particularly from China, now one of the world's most powerful countries.
Minxin Pei is the Tom and Margot Pritzker '72 Professor of Government and a non-resident senior fellow at the German Marshall Fund of the United States.