China has refused to condemn the war in an effort to position itself as a neutral party, while at the same time offering Moscow vital diplomatic and financial support.
At the heart of the deepening partnership is the relationship between Xi and Putin, who have described each other as “dear friends”.
But their alliance is also forged by a symbiotic necessity, each seeing the other as a necessary bulwark in their shared struggle against Western dominance.
In an interview with Chinese state broadcaster CGTN ahead of his visit this week, Putin hailed ties with Beijing and the “mutual benefits” of the BRI.
“President Putin pointed out that a multipolar world is taking shape, and the concepts and initiatives put forward by President Xi Jinping are highly relevant and significant,” CGTN reported.
“He stated that President Xi Jinping is a well-recognised leader on the world stage and is a true world leader,” it said.
Putin also reportedly “shared pleasant memories between President Xi and him, and hoped tradition continues when they meet in China in the future”.
A number of leaders have already arrived in Beijing ahead of the summit, according to China’s state news agency Xinhua.
Among them are Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban, Chilean President Gabriel Boric, Kenyan President William Ruto and Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.