The New York TimesThe New York Times

Xi and Putin meet again, two strongmen in a weak moment

By David Pierson and Anton Troianovski

30 Dec 2022 · 6 min read

Editor's Note

The leaders of Russia and China met on Friday via video. As the NYT reports, both men are now coming from positions of weakness, complicating their "informal authoritarian alliance."

When China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, and President Vladimir Putin of Russia declared a “no limits” partnership 10 months ago, the pair projected an aura of strength in a direct challenge to the United States and the West.

As the two leaders met again Friday via video, they found themselves in positions of weakness, encumbered by geopolitical and economic threats to their informal authoritarian alliance. Both now have little room to maneuver, making the relationship all the more important, albeit also a lot more complicated.

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