|Xi greeting Putin's puppet, Dmitry Medvedev in 2010.|
Xi Jinping, the authoritarian communist apparatchik, who recently was "elected" President of China, is today due to meet his colleague, Russian dictator Vladimir Putin, in Moscow.
Although Xi is expected to sign a number of economic agreements during his visit, it is highly unlikely that Putin will be able to convince the Chinese to buy overpriced Russian gas:
It seemed unlikely that the visit would resolve an impasse over an ambitious deal that would see Russia deliver 68 billion cubic meters of gas to China annually for 30 years, an amount equal to about half of what Gazprom exported outside the former Soviet Union last year. China has rejected the offering price as too high, and the two governments now set a new deadline for the end of the year to reach an agreement.
However, ahead of Xi's visit, Putin seems eager to point out that the two empires share a common interest in protecting criminal and corrupt dictators and authoritarians worldwide:
Ahead of a visit by China's new president, Russian President Vladimir Putin says the Moscow-Beijing partnership is aiding global security and helping create a fairer world order.
He added that Russia and China have set an example of a "balanced and pragmatic approach" to international crises — an apparent reference to their lockstep opposition to U.N. sanctions against Syrian President Bashar Assad's regime.
On a more personal level, Putin and Xi also will have a chance to share their views about matters of common interest:
"here’s the Russian President Vladimir V. Putin who is rumored to be among the world’s wealthiest men, with a fortune worth tens of billions, which he of course denies. Born in a middle class Soviet family, Putin who also once compared ruling Russia to being a ‘galley slave’ reportedly lives a ‘king-size’ lifestyle with access to Presidential perks including four grand yachts, 20 homes with opulent fittings, 58 aircrafts with one Russian-made Ilyushin Presidential jet with a $75,000 toilet, not to forget Putin’s ultra-expensive watch collection worth $700,000."
"As Xi climbed the Communist Party ranks, his extended family expanded their business interests to include minerals, real estate and mobile-phone equipment, according to public documents compiled by Bloomberg.
Those interests include investments in companies with total assets of $376 million; an 18 percent indirect stake in a rare- earths company with $1.73 billion in assets; and a $20.2 million holding in a publicly traded technology company."
In an interview given before the visit to Moscow, Xi wanted to impress his hosts by giving the impression that he is a great friend of Russian culture:
In a potential boost to bilateral ties, Xi told the Russian state newspaper that classic Russian literature, including the works of Pushkin, Lermontov and Tolstoy, "deeply influenced" him in his youth.
Here Xi must have been seriously misinformed by his underlings. They should have known that Putin probably never has read a book by any of the above mentioned authors.
If one is to believe Putin's personal website, the dictator does not have any literary interests - he is mainly interested in the martial arts:
Vladimir Putin firmly believes that martial arts teach such knowledge, abilities and skills that every politician needs, among them the ability " to see the opponent’s strengths and weaknesses".