Decoder: The West looks on as Putin pals with Xi Jinping
The relationship between China and Russia seems to grow closer as the U.S. and China look at each other with hostile eyes. At what point does this become scary? Russian President Vladimir Putin, right, toasts with Chinese President Xi Jinping prior to the Conference...
Especially pertinent after Xi Jinping’s visit to Moscow last week, this article from correspondent Jane Macartney decodes the Russian-Chinese relationship — and its effects on the war in Ukraine and beyond. While China has stopped short of providing lethal material support to Moscow, its overall trade with Russia reached a record high in 2022. Help your students understand all the moving pieces of this geopolitical puzzle with this Decoder.
Exercise: After reading the article, show students this political cartoon of Putin and Xi Jinping. Students should draw parallels between the article and the cartoon’s symbols, characters and captions. Prompting questions: Who are the characters in the cartoon? Why does Xi appear conflicted in the image? How does the image represent what Macartney described in her article? Explain to students that this cartoon was published in 2022. How has the Russian-Chinese relationship evolved since then, with Xi’s latest state visit to Moscow?