Wondering why cops are out in full force and swaths of Shanghai are more deserted than Chernobyl? Russian president and Confucius Peace Prize Candidate Vladimir Putin arrived in Shanghai on Tuesday for a two-day visit, further strengthening relations between the two countries given that the former has been increasingly been spurned by the West for its involvement in recent political events in Ukraine.
Would China and Russia be frenemies no more? The outcome of negotiations on Tuesday seem to paint a more ambivalent picture. According to VOA News, while 49 agreements on energy, transportation and communications were sealed, talks on a gas deal remain inconclusive. While gas-rich Russia intends to supply China for the next 30 years, disagreements on the price that will be paid for this service still remain.
The choice of Shanghai for a meeting place is perhaps one that is historically and culturally significant – Russians account for the largest non-Chinese group in the city, and reminders of Russian immigration and influence are scattered across the city, such as a certain aptly-named Cafe Putin.
Photos: Sina Weibo