Russian dictator Vladimir Putin is expected to arrive in Beijing on Oct. 16, in a visit that signals the importance of Chinese economic support for Russia as it wages its war against Ukraine, the Associated Press (AP) reported on Oct. 15.
Putin told reporters on Oct. 13 that he and Chinese leader Xi Jinping will discuss their nations' deepening economic ties during the Belt and Road Forum.
The forum is meant to highlight China's work building infrastructure overseas and its role as a global leader.
In September, Moscow confirmed that Putin was planning to attend the forum in his first international trip since the International Criminal Court (ICC) issued an arrest warrant against him over war crimes in Ukraine.
China has yet to address the ICC's arrest warrant for Putin.
Alexander Gabuev, director of the Carnegie Russia Eurasia Center, told the AP that in Beijing's view, "Russia is a safe neighbor that is friendly" and "a source of cheap raw materials."
For Russia, however, "China is its lifeline."
Gabuev said that while Russia relies on China to fund its war in Ukraine, a full military alliance is unlikely.
“There will be no military alliance, but there will be closer military cooperation, more interoperability, more cooperation on projecting force together," Gabuev told the AP.
While China has denied providing Russia with military aid for use in Ukraine, U.S. intelligence reports showed that Beijing has exported significant amounts of military equipment and technology by classifying the shipments as "dual-use" goods.