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Moscow to continue strengthening alliance with China regardless of Geneva summit — experts

The Chinese expert believes that the American President will test his Russian counterpart and "try to make an exchange with Putin in an attempt to split China-Russia relations"

HONG KONG, June 16. /TASS/. Moscow and Beijing, both facing confrontation from the West, see no other choice but to continue enhancing their alliance regardless of the outcome of the Russian-US summit in Geneva, Shi Yinhong, an international relations professor at Renmin University in Beijing, told South China Morning Post

"In the current climate, China and Russia have no choice but to strengthen their strategic, military, and diplomatic cooperation," the analyst said. According to him, NATO and the G7 had caused more antagonism between the US and Russia with their communique, and the Geneva talks would do little to change that.

"Biden wants to reiterate the hardline posture of the US when he goes to Geneva," Shi said. The expert believes that arms control will be a focus after the two sides agreed in January to extend the New START treaty limiting nuclear weapons. "Perhaps they will talk about measures to prevent the deterioration of arms control."

According to Lu Xiang, a US affairs expert at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, Washington could try to ease tensions by making concessions on Russia’s Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline to Germany, which the US has strongly opposed.

"Biden will test Putin and try to make an exchange with Putin in an attempt to split China-Russia relations," Lu said. However, Moscow would continue to pursue closer ties with Beijing, and there could be more engagement in the second half of the year.

The summit between Russian President Vladimir Putin and his US counterpart Joe Biden is due to be held in Geneva at the Villa La Grange on Wednesday. According to the press service of the Russian head of state, the two leaders plan to discuss the conditions and prospects for further fostering Russia-US relations, strategic stability matters, as well as pressing issues on the international agenda, which include cooperation in fighting the coronavirus pandemic and ironing out regional conflicts. This will be the first face-to-face meeting between Putin and Biden since the US president took office.