tirsdag 29. mars 2022

‘No Limits’? Understanding China’s Engagement With Russia on Ukraine

Vladimir Putin’s last visit to China took less than half a day. The Russian president landed in Beijing on the afternoon of February 4 and left for Moscow the same day, shortly after the evening Opening Ceremony of the Winter Olympics. Putin didn’t even attend the next day’s banquet, at which Chinese President Xi Jinping toasted foreign dignitaries. To fit in with the Russian leader’s tight schedule, Xi arrived at the Diaoyutai State Guesthouse instead of receiving Putin, like the other guests, at the Great Hall of the People.

There is much speculation on whether the primary purpose of Putin’s swift visit was to brief the Chinese leader on the upcoming military operation in Ukraine and secure Beijing’s backing. Many believe that, yes, Xi knew everything in advance; moreover, some say Xi specifically asked Putin to carry out the operation only after the Olympics’ Closing Ceremony.