SHANGHAI – Russian Prime Minister Mikhail Mishustin has arrived in China. He is going to meet President Xi Jinping and ink for the deals on infrastructure and trade. He will take part in a Russian-Chinese business forum and visit a petrochemical research institute in Shanghai. That forum has invited a number of sanctioned Russian tycoons. China in 2022 became the top energy customer for Russia. China and Russia’s strategic partnership having only grown closer since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
China believes it is a neutral party in that war. It has refused to invite Russia for the invasion. In February, Beijing published a paper calling for a “political settlement” for the resolution of conflict in which Western countries could enable Russia to hold much of territory it has seized in Ukraine. In March , during the summit in Moscow, Mr Xi invited Russian President Vladimir Putin to visit Beijing. Analysts say China holds the upper hand in the relationship with Russia, and that its sway is growing as Moscow’s international isolation deepens.