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Putin lands in China, with high hopes for closer ties

Russia’s President Vladimir Putin waves as he arrives at the airport in Shanghai. Photo: Reuters Moscow: President Vladimir Putin says he is withdrawing Russian troops from the border with Ukraine, the second time he has said this in less than two weeks. He also praised the government in Kiev, which he had previously called an illegal, fascist junta, for its willingness to negotiate structural changes. But the intended audience for these conciliatory remarks on Monday may not have been the United States and Europe, who would distrust them in any event. Mr Putin’s gaze was more likely fixed on China, where he arrived on Tuesday by all accounts determined to show that he, too, wants to…