VLADIMIR Putin may have been all smiles while greeting Chinese leader Xi Jinping, but his shaky body language shows all is not well.
GettyPutin appeared uncomfortable as he arrived to the Palace of People’s Congresses during the Third Belt and Road Forum[/caption]
EPAPutin moved in close and faced Xi as they shook hands while Xi faced forward in ‘a small act of rejection’[/caption]
APXi appeared to interrupt Putin before holding his hand in a precision pinch gesture[/caption]
The forum is centred around Xi’s initiative to create trades through huge swathes of Eurasia and make China “the most powerful global power”.
Video captured the moment Putin arrived to meet Xi, smiling and adjusting his jacket as he stepped from a car.
His face fell and he pulled at his sleeves as he walked up a steep flight of red velvet stairs to Xi.
Body language expert Judi James noted some of his gestures looked “a little jerky” – with some hand twitching as he posed for a group photo and some small movements of his mouth.
She said: “These could be prompted by anxiety or health issues but they don’t look pronounced.”
It comes after a series of chilling “clues” fuelled speculation Putin may be suffering from serious health problems including cancer.
He was spotted with a mystery red blotch on his forehead only a few weeks ago.
Experts agreed his 71st birthday on October 7, 2023 may have been his last as the despot was nearing the end of his reign – whether by coup, suicide, regime collapse, or his failing health.
On Tuesday, Judi told The Sun Putin looked to be uncomfortable and anxious but used friendly gestures to try and appear “bonded” with Xi.
She said the Chinese leader used a series of signals to diminish Putin’s status and send a more “non-committal” message about their relationship before ultimately rejecting him.
Judi continued: “Stepping from the car [Putin] has to climb a steep flight of stairs before walking into Xi’s elevated presence on the lavishly-decorated stage.
“As he climbs the stairs Putin performs a rather exaggerated dressing ritual, tugging both shirt cuffs out of his jacket sleeves in a very emphatic movement and even seeming to twist or wind the right one. The movements suggest a desire to self-calm.”
While both men smile as Putin approaches Xi, their first gesture – a handshake hello – suggested two different approaches.
Judi said Xi’s “confidently cocked thumb” and open palm and fingers indicated he was “open” to the meeting, whereas Putin’s “jerky lift” showed an eagerness to define their friendship.
She continued: “Putin also moves in close and faces Xi for the actual shake but Xi faces forward in a small act of rejection.
“Strongly united, allied world leaders will often stand face-to-face ignoring the cameras for their greetings but Xi decided to skip that pose.
“The Chinese handshake will often be softer and last a little longer. But this one ends after two short shakes, with Xi standing back to end it.”
The two men were then seen to be chatting, although it looked as though Putin was speaking and Xi interrupted him with a mimed tap on Putin’s chest with his knuckles, said Judi.
Xi held his hand in a pinch gesture and Putin sucked in his lips in what Judi called an “uneasy-looking response”.
She said Xi seemed unimpressed by the exchange, looking about as the Russian leader stood at his side then steering him past with a mimed pat on the back.
Judi said Putin’s tugging at his shirt cuffs appeared to suggest a ‘desire to self-calm’
Video showed the moment Xi turned away from Putin mid-handshake
Putin sucked in his lips in what Judi called an ‘uneasy-looking response’ to Xi’s apparent interruption
The Chinese leader seemed keen to steer Putin past him with a mimed pat on the backLeave a comment