Xi Jinping's Uncharacteristic Display with Putin at Beijing Tea Gathering

Written by Henrik Rothen

May.18 - 2024 9:02 AM CET

Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Xi Jinping surprises with an uncharacteristic display of warmth towards Putin during Beijing tea gathering.

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Chinese President Xi Jinping surprised many with his unusual behavior in the presence of Russian President Vladimir Putin during a recent public event in Beijing.

British journalist David Averre provided an insightful analysis of this rare occurrence.

Putin's First International Trip Since Re-election

This week, Vladimir Putin embarked on a two-day visit to China, his first international journey since his re-election in March. The visit underscored the importance of Kremlin support from Xi Jinping, as highlighted by Daily Mail journalist David Averre.

"Stressing the significance of Kremlin backing, Putin's visit to Beijing marked his first foreign trip since his March re-election," Averre noted.

Uncharacteristic Public Display from Xi

Xi Jinping, known for his typically reserved demeanor in public, especially in the context of China's political culture, displayed an unexpected warmth during his interaction with Putin.

This departure from his usual behavior caught the attention of many, including Averre.

"In contrast to his customary restraint, Xi Jinping engaged in a notably warmer manner with Putin. He firmly grabbed Putin by the shoulders, pulling him into a couple of strong, albeit awkward, hugs," Averre observed.

Key Moment at Informal Tea Gathering

The surprising embrace occurred during an informal tea and dinner session, a significant event in Putin's itinerary.

This meeting, meant to foster closer ties, took place before Putin's departure to Harbin, a city with deep historical and cultural links to Russia.

In the UK, the embrace between Xi and Putin was seen as symbolic, marking a new era in Sino-Russian relations. As Russia grapples with Western sanctions, it increasingly relies on its burgeoning trade relationship with China, which challenges U.S. global dominance.

"The 'romantic' relations between Putin and Xi continue: the Chinese leader's awkward hug with Vladimir signals that their countries are more united than ever as they aim to upend the U.S.-led global order," the British journalist remarked.

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