mandag 27. februar 2023

China Feels Squeeze From Both Sides of Ukraine

A year into Russia's war in Ukraine, few are still wondering what China knew about the invasion and when. As President Vladimir Putin vows to finish a fight he says was started by the West, questions now turn to Chinese leader Xi Jinping and what he will do next to prevent Moscow's stuttering military adventure from undercutting Beijing's own grand plan.

Chinese officials remain perplexed by the heavy scrutiny their country—not a direct party to the ongoing conflict—has received in the last 12 months. The microscopic attention stems from China's overt political support for Russia and the unabashed sympathy it has shown toward Putin and his reasons for going to war, all while refusing to openly acknowledge Ukraine's victimhood status.

Having won over large swathes of the developing world with their "pro-Russia neutrality," Chinese officials are still struggling to convince key figures in Brussels and Washington that Beijing can meaningfully contribute to ending the crisis. With its criticism of Western military aid to Kyiv further hollowing out its vague references to United Nations principles, China now wants Ukraine to sue for peace.