China holds the balance of power in its relationship with Russia


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As Russia becomes more desperate thanks to military shortcomings in its unprovoked invasion of Ukraine, China is increasingly taking on the mantle of senior partner. At the same time, Beijing remains concerned about the signals it is getting from the USA, the latest of which was President Joe Biden's promise to defend Taiwan against a Chinese invasion. The Shanghai Cooperation Organization summit in Samarkand brought together Chairman Xi Jinping and President Vladimir Putin for a sideline meeting on 15 September. It was Xi's first overseas trip since January 2020, and the first face-to-face meeting between the two authoritarians since Russia...