While opaque statements from Chinese officials and abstentions at the UN have kept Moscow at arm’s length amid the invasion of Ukraine, a joint statement by Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping that proclaimed alignment on key issues like Taiwan and NATO still stokes concern among onlookers of the Sino-Russian relationship, especially within the CEE region. Further still, China has recently made statements to the effect that its cooperation with Russia has “no limits.”
This cooperation has already manifested in terms of information warfare, with China outwardly pushing Russian propaganda related to claims about US biolabs in Ukraine. Further, Beijing has repeatedly expressed support for Russia’s security interests, declaring that the West and the expansion of NATO are responsible for the war, having “pushed Russia to the wall.” At the same time, China vehemently rejects sanctions against Russia, even if it can be expected to adhere to them to some extent, careful of avoiding direct damage to its own interests. Moscow has even apparently requested assistance in the form of arms sales from Beijing, though this appears to perhaps be a bridge Beijing is not yet ready to cross, despite its “no-limit” proclamation.
As the conflict escalates, however, China may be forced to move on from its ambiguous and often self-contradictory stances. To illuminate the murky relationship, a special double episode is in store featuring experts on both China and Russia from the MapInfluenCE project.
This month’s guests:
- Filip Šebok, MapInfluenCE China analyst
- Pavel Havlíček, MapInfluenCE Russia analyst