Xi-Putin embrace at Sochi marks high stakes gamble on anti-U.S. quasi-alliance

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping take part in a video conference with commanders of Russian and Chinese navy ships in the Bocharov Ruchei residence in Sochi, Russia on Feb. 6. AP/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Presidential Press Service

Russian President Vladimir Putin and Chinese President Xi Jinping.  /AP/RIA-Novosti, Alexei Nikolsky, Presidential Press Service

Chinese President Xi Jinping’s presence in the inauguration of the Sochi Winter Olympics marks yet another symbolic leap forward in the relations of the two erstwhile Communist allies. Xi, who is widely deemed “pro-Russian” by liberal intellectuals in China, has staked his reputation on continuing amelioration of ties between the two authoritarian states.

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