News analysis

Russia and China's no-limits partnership may have a ceiling after all

Observers were quick to detect a power shift between President Xi Jinping and President Vladimir Putin , with China clearly having more leverage over Russia. PHOTO: REUTERS
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BEIJING - If a joint statement by China and Russia declaring their no-limits friendship in February set the tone for an iron-clad partnership that made the United States and its allies somewhat nervous, Thursday's meeting between President Xi Jinping and Russian leader Vladimir Putin might have signalled that there is a ceiling to this relationship after all.

The two men, who have met nearly 40 times since Mr Xi came to power a decade ago, appeared pleased to see each other in Samarkand, Uzbekistan, with Mr Xi saying he was happy to meet his "old friend" again, and Mr Putin calling the Chinese leader "my dear friend".

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