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May 17, 2024
Focus This Week
A community space to discuss the China-U.S. relationship and beyond.

Dear Focus Reader,

On the heels of U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken's visit to China last month, Russian leader Vladimir Putin traveled to Beijing to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping this week for his second visit in less than a year. The trip comes just over a week since Putin entered a new term in office, extending his rule until 2030. The summit marked a significant moment in global geopolitics, as both leaders reaffirmed their "no-limits" partnership and pledged to deepen their cooperation amidst rising tensions with the West.

During the summit, Putin and Xi signed a joint statement emphasizing their shared opposition to what they perceive as aggressive actions by the United States, particularly in the Asia-Pacific and Eastern European regions. In the 7,000-word statement, they also said that "Russian-Chinese relations… are experiencing the best period in their history."

One of the key topics of discussion was Russia's ongoing war in Ukraine. Putin thanked Xi for China's proposals for ending the war, which have been generally aligned with Russia's stance on the issue. China's support for Russia, both diplomatically and economically, has been crucial for Moscow's efforts in Ukraine.

The visit was seen by many commentators to signal a deepening alliance between the two countries. The U.S. views both Russia and China as strategic competitors, and their strengthening bond could potentially reshape the geopolitical landscape, impacting issues ranging from regional security to economic cooperation.

The U.S., meanwhile, arranged a visit by Secretary Blinken to Ukraine ahead of Putin's trip, in a show of ongoing U.S. support to the country. The Biden administration also announced steep tariffs on Chinese electric vehicles, computer chips, and medical devices, a move heavily criticized by China.

Stay up to date on international relations by catching up on our latest Focus content, including topics on China-U.S. cooperation, impacts of the U.S. elections, the new Washington Consensus and more.

Focus Insights
Quote of the Week
"Blinken's trip further clarified that the administration will essentially continue its current approach toward China if Biden wins reelection."
Richard Weitz
Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute

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Notable Number

The total budget amount of USD approved by the U.S. Congress as an aid bill for Ukraine.

Learn more in "New Aid to Ukraine Won't Break Stalemate," by Xiao Bin, Deputy Secretary-General, Center for Shanghai Cooperation Organization Studies, Chinese Association of Social Sciences.

Discover More
A look into cultural stories from our affiliate platform, The China Current.

The Humble Administrator's Garden | Tasmin Little

Watch Video
Featured in films, host to annual events, and used as a research center for plant conservation, the Humble Administrator's Garden is widely considered to be the finest garden in all of southern China.
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Question of the Week:

In our Focus Insights section, we shared an article by Harvard University professor Joseph Nye where he discusses whether cooperation between the U.S. and China is still possible amid recent contentious discussions between top leaders from the two countries.

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How do you view the recent efforts by the U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken to stabilize relations with China?

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About Focus This Week

Prepared by China-US Focus editorial teams in Hong Kong and New York, this weekly newsletter offers you snap shots of latest trends and developments emerging from China and the U.S. every week. It is a community space to exchange thoughts and ideas about the China-U.S. relationship and beyond.

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