It wasn't supposed to be this way. After being frozen out of Western capital markets by waves of sanctions, a great many top Russian government and corporate players had loyally heeded the Kremlin's directive, "Go east, young man!" The Kremlin's pivot to Asia was intended not only to form a Russia-Chinese alliance of likeminded authoritarian states, but also to re-orient the Russian economy toward the East. This effort was intended to provide Vladimir Putin with financial means to sustain himself in office and his current foreign policy course. Securing "a stable Chinese" alternative to Western capital markets was the key element in this game plan.