China-Russia Bond Tightens As Moscow Sees Battlefield Losses In Ukraine

Xi Jinping is ready to satisfy Vladimir Putin throughout a regional summit in Uzbekistan this week. (File)


Russia could also be enduring massive battlefield losses in Ukraine and punishing Western sanctions, however China is standing agency in its help of President Vladimir Putin and a “no limits” friendship.

Chinese chief Xi Jinping is ready to satisfy Putin throughout a regional summit in Uzbekistan this week, in a public present of unity that flies within the face of United States-led marketing campaign to isolate Russia over its battle in Ukraine.

While Beijing has not explicitly endorsed Moscow’s invasion, it has steadily constructed financial and strategic ties with Russia over the six months of the battle, and President Xi has assured his counterpart of his help of Russian “sovereignty and security”.

Analysts say that as China-US relations plummet, Beijing believes it must nurture the bond with its big northern neighbour.

“Regardless of whether Russia wins (in Ukraine), China will pursue a close alignment with Russia, which is decided by the current state of US-China relations more than anything else,” Yun Sun, director of the China Program on the Washington-based Stimson Center, instructed AFP.

As the world’s second-largest nuclear energy, “Russia is not a geopolitical power that can be eliminated”, Sun mentioned.

China sees Russia as an necessary associate in muscling worldwide establishments away from Washington’s sphere of dominance.

On Monday senior diplomat Yang Jiechi instructed Russian ambassador to China Andrey Denisov that Xi and Putin might work collectively to “promote the development of the international order in a more just and rational direction”.

And by way of commerce, China has ramped up its purchases of oil from Russia in latest months, with Russia turning into China’s high oil supplier for 3 months in a row from May to July, serving to to offset Moscow’s losses.

US-China tensions

China-US relations have been fraught for years, with a commerce battle displaying no indicators of easing whereas Washington accuses Beijing of human rights abuses.

In August, ties hit a dramatic new low when US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited self-ruled Taiwan, enraging Beijing which views the island as a part of its territory.

The Chinese authorities responded with huge army drills and missile launches round Taiwan, and cancelled cooperation with the US in a number of areas together with key local weather talks.

Last week, Xi despatched his authorities’s high legislator Li Zhanshu to Russia, the place he met Putin.

“Political mutual trust, strategic coordination and pragmatic cooperation between the two countries have reached an unprecedented level,” Li mentioned, in line with state media.

Li’s go to got here as Russia endured a sequence of main army reversals in Ukraine, with Kyiv’s troops recapturing swathes of territory.

But if Russia is “weakened in the war, it’s not necessarily bad news for China, as it will become more dominant in the bilateral relations,” analyst Sun mentioned.

Russia ‘particularly hopeful’

A more in-depth take a look at Li’s journey additionally reveals China remains to be eager to keep away from being hit by Western sanctions over the Ukraine battle — at the same time as Moscow portrays Beijing as a backer of its invasion.

Russia claimed in a parliamentary readout that Li had mentioned “we fully understand the necessity of all the measures taken by Russia aimed at protecting its key interests, we are providing our assistance”.

The line didn’t seem in China’s official experiences of the interplay, hinting at a disconnect within the two sides’ messaging.

“As Russia’s position deteriorates, Putin will look for increased Chinese support,” mentioned Hal Brands, international affairs professor on the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies, in feedback posted to Twitter final week.

Xi and Putin are set to satisfy in individual this week, on the sidelines of a regional leaders’ summit.

It will likely be their first assembly because the Russian chief visited Beijing in February, the place the 2 presidents declared that “friendship between the two states has no limits”.

The assembly takes place “at a moment of great fluidity on the battlefield, which may mean Russia is especially hopeful for Chinese assistance”, mentioned Joseph Torigian, a international coverage knowledgeable on the American University in Washington, DC.

“We don’t know how hard the asks will be and how much China thinks it could help without sacrificing its own economic interests,” he instructed AFP.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV workers and is printed from a syndicated feed.)

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