In the Russia-China relationship, it feels more and more that Russia is the junior partner.
This is an increasingly unequal relationship. Vladimir Putin's invasion of Ukraine, which has not gone according to plan, has weakened Russia, BBC reported.
The Kremlin admits that the Russian army has suffered "significant losses", while Western sanctions are putting the economy under intense pressure.
In the meeting with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Samarkand on the sidelines of the SCO summit, Putin conceded that China has "questions and concerns" about the situation in Ukraine. It was an unexpected admission, by the Kremlin, that Russia's so-called special military operation is causing some anxiety in Beijing.
Having burned bridges with the West and sparked an energy war with Europe, Putin is attempting a pivot east. He's hoping to reorient the Russian economy and find new markets for Russian oil and gas, BBC reported.
"The hope is that this pivot will work and will have credible dividends for Russia. But I don't see this happening," said Sergey Radchenko, professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
"What Russia needs ultimately in the West: Its technology, its markets. It's very difficult to change the direction of gas flows. The Soviet Union and Russia spent decades building networks of pipelines to Europe and that's where the physical infrastructure is. It's very difficult to reorient Russian energy markets towards Asia."
With Vladimir Putin, the Russian pendulum has firmly swung to the east, BBC reported,
That's hardly surprising: His decision to invade Ukraine has left Russia a pariah in the West and his country battered by Western sanctions.
US President Joe Biden has called Putin a "murderous dictator"; UK Prime Minister Liz Truss previously dubbed him "a desperate rogue operator".
Xi, however, uses quite different language. "My dear old friend!" exclaimed Xi Jinping.