Russian President Vladimir Putin will be riding a wave of momentum into China on Thursday for two days of talks with leader Xi Jinping, with the two sides set to discuss ways to challenge the U.S.-led global order while bolstering Moscow’s economic resilience amid its war in Ukraine.

Putin will make China his first foreign travel destination since his March re-election, highlighting the two countries’ “no-limits” partnership, as his forces continue a recent string of advances in Ukraine. His trip also comes just days after he revamped his Cabinet — chock full of officials with deep ties to China — in a move widely seen as him hunkering down for a long confrontation in Ukraine.

Xi, meanwhile, will have to walk a fine line with Putin as he seeks to push back against the U.S. while simultaneously aiming to preserve slowly improving ties with Washington, as well as access to the global economic system.