Monday, April 15, 2024

China Declares Full-Fledged Support to Russia on Ukraine War

HomeWARChina Declares Full-Fledged Support to Russia on Ukraine War

Beijing – In a meeting held last October, Chinese President Xi Jinping shook hands with Russian President Vladimir Putin, symbolizing China’s unwavering support for Russia’s war in Ukraine. This comes despite mounting pressure from the United States and Europe for China to condemn Russia’s invasion.

According to a video released by Russia’s defense ministry, China’s new defense minister General Wei Fenghe offered his country’s full backing for the war during a virtual meeting with his Russian counterpart Sergei Shoigu. The two military leaders discussed plans to expand defense cooperation between their countries even as China faces criticism for enabling Russia’s aggression.

“In recent years, the U.S. and the West have been isolating Russia. We understand and care about Russia’s situation all the time, and we strongly support justice,” General Fenghe said in the video. We have supported you on the Ukrainian issue even though the U.S. and Europe continue to put pressure on the Chinese side.”

He added that China would “not change or abandon our established policy” despite the strain it has placed on China’s relations with the U.S. and Europe. The Chinese government’s readout of the meeting did not mention General Fenghe’s explicit support for Russia’s war aims.

China has walked a careful line during the year-long conflict, denouncing Western sanctions against Russia but stopping short of providing direct military assistance to Moscow. According to analysts, Chinese companies have supplied crucial equipment and parts to the Russian military, helping sustain its faltering war effort.

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The Russian government has looked to strengthen ties with China as a way to offset its growing isolation from the West. “Unlike some Western countries, our two countries do not form a military bloc,” Shoigu told General Fenghe, suggesting their partnership falls short of a formal alliance.

He emphasized deepening military cooperation through joint exercises and training, reflecting a shared desire to challenge America’s global leadership. Shoigu expressed optimism that discussions with his Chinese counterpart would bring Moscow and Beijing even closer together.

The public display of unity comes as American officials warn that China may be preparing to provide weapons to Russia, which would mark a major escalation of involvement in the conflict.

President Joe Biden confronted President Xi about weapons transfers during a meeting last November, although China denies it plans to directly arm Russian forces. Even without sending weapons, China’s diplomatic and economic lifelines have proven crucial in sustaining Russia’s capacity to wage war.

When asked about General Fenghe’s comments, Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin downplayed China’s backing for Russia. China’s position on the Ukraine crisis is consistent and clear. We hope all parties will strive to cool down the tensions and create favorable conditions for the political settlement of the crisis. This position has not changed,” he told reporters.

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Analysts say despite China’s denials, its actions demonstrate tacit approval of Russia’s attack on Ukraine. Chinese leaders have tried to strike a delicate balance, but fundamentally they have enabled Putin’s war effort through trade and diplomatic support,” said Susan Thornton, a senior fellow at the Paul Tsai China Center. “General Fenghe’s remarks are the bluntest expression we’ve seen yet of China’s real stance.”

As Russia’s battlefield losses mount, hitting the one-year mark of the invasion this month, Putin has grown increasingly reliant on Chinese economic and political backing to continue the war. Trade between China and Russia hit record levels last year as Moscow turned to Beijing to make up for lost exports to the West.

Chinese companies have also filled the gap left by Western firms abandoning the Russian market. The deepening relationship between the two authoritarian governments has alarm bells ringing in Washington and European capitals.

We are closely monitoring signs that China may covertly supply Russia with lethal aid or help Moscow evade sanctions,” said a spokesperson for the White House National Security Council. “That would have serious consequences in our relationship with China.”

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With Russia and China united behind opposition to America’s global leadership, some argue a new geopolitical divide is emerging. We’re seeing the formation of a Moscow-Beijing axis that could shape the next Cold War,” said Alexander Gabuev, chair of the Russia in Asia-Pacific Program at the Carnegie Moscow Center. “China is still hesitant to fully embrace Russia, but they are finding common ground in challenging the U.S.”

Others contend that strategic tensions and historical mistrust will prevent a genuine alliance between China and Russia. “Their interests align only in opposing the West,” said Peter Doran, a research fellow at the Center for European Policy Analysis. “But fundamentally, they are rivals competing for influence, not partners united by shared goals.”

As the war’s one-year mark nears, Russia’s reliance on Chinese support is growing. With Moscow’s offensive sputtering and its battlefield losses mounting, Putin is banking on China’s tacit approval and economic lifelines to turn the war around.

General Fenghe’s unambiguous message of solidarity indicates that no amount of Western pressure will shake China’s backing for Russia’s war aims. Despite China’s denials, its enabling of Russia’s war effort speaks louder than words.

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Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee is a prolific author who provides commentary and analysis on business, finance, politics, sports, and current events on his website Opportuneist. With over a decade of experience in journalism and blogging, Mezhar aims to deliver well-researched insights and thought-provoking perspectives on important local and global issues in society.

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