Xi and Putin Meet, Two Strongmen in a Weak Moment

From a New York Times story by David Pierson and Anton Troianovski headlined “Xi and Putin Meet Again, Two Strongmen in a Weak Moment”:

When China’s top leader, Xi Jinping, and President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia declared a “no limits” partnership 10 months ago, the pair projected an aura of strength in a direct challenge to the United States and the West.

As the two leaders met again on Friday via video, they found themselves in positions of weakness, encumbered by geopolitical and economic threats to their informal authoritarian alliance. Both now have little room to maneuver, making the relationship all the more important, albeit also a lot more complicated.