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China and Russia’s Friendship in Ukraine is Without Benefits

Author:  Melinda Liu

Affiliation: Newsweek’s Beijing Bureau Chief

Organization /Publisher: Foreign Policy 

Date/Place: February 26, 2022/ Washington DC, US

Type of Literature: Analysis 

Word Count: 2005


Keywords: Ukraine Crisis, China, Russia, United States


The article discusses the changing historical irony of the Ukraine crisis. The world has changed again, with Moscow and Beijing aligned together against the United States. Melinda Liu analyses the Xi and Putin relationship in the Ukraine crisis as without benefits by quoting China’s Assistant Foreign Minister, Hua Chunying, stating that “The U.S. has been fueling the flame…. How do they want to put out the fire?” Putin’s visit to China and his protocol as a VIP dignitary at the Winter Games opening ceremony and Xi’s opposition to further NATO expansion indicate a support strategy. On a telephone conversation with Putin, Xi insisted on ending the Ukraine crisis through negotiation, and Putin showed a willingness on China’s concerns to have a high-level dialogue with Ukraine. But the Chinese officials assumed Putin’s 2022 intervention would be geographically limited, as it was when Russia strategically annexed parts of Georgia in 2008 and Crimea in 2014. The situation may have some economic consequences because Biden’s vow to cut off half of Russia’s high-tech imports, hobbling Moscow’s strategic ambitions, means that Putin will almost certainly turn to China to fill the gap—making secondary sanctions a real concern for Beijing. The author concludes that the major concern is whether Xi would be in a position to help the Ukraine crisis or not. Beijing is the most likely source of assistance to Putin once Russia’s high-tech sources dry up and its foreign currency holdings runs low. The author is optimistic that in the coming days and weeks, Xi will face many opportunities to ponder whether his friendship with Putin is beneficial.

By: Razia Wadood, CIGA Senior Research Associate



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