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Putin Could Burst Xi’s Olympic Dream With a War in Ukraine

The Chinese president is due to host his Russian counterpart at the Beijing Winter Games in early February.

Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping at the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan, in June 2019.

Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping at the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan, in June 2019.

Photographer: Kim Kyung-Hoon/Reuters
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As the U.S. and Europe mount increasingly frantic efforts to deter Russia from any invasion of Ukraine, it’s Chinese President Xi Jinping who may have the biggest influence on Vladimir Putin’s timetable.

The Russian president has said he will join Xi at the opening ceremony Feb. 4 of the Beijing Winter Olympics, where the Chinese leader has lavished billions of dollars to showcase his nation’s superpower status to the world.