China Backs Away From Russia, Shows Support for Ukraine

China Backs Away From Russia, Shows Support for Ukraine

( – China and Russia share around 2,485 miles of border, making the relationship between the two world powers a vital one to watch. In recent months, Beijing and the Chinese Communist Party have celebrated China’s relationship with Russia, declaring the camaraderie between the nations as “rock solid” in early March. However, the close bond the two countries once portrayed is beginning to fracture as China distances itself from Russian President Vladimir Putin and his horrific war in Ukraine.

Chinese Officials Share Support for Ukraine

This week, Fan Xianrong, Beijing’s ambassador to Ukraine, publicly stated China “will never attack Ukraine and will respect the path chosen by Ukrainians.” Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian also affirmed Zianrong’s words in a public statement on Thursday, March 17.

Reports are circulating that Russia reached out to China for support to continue its invasion of Ukraine. However, Chinese officials are hesitant to provide such aid for fear of falling under sanctions themselves. Foreign Minister Wang Yi emphasized China “must not be affected” by sanctions the world is imposing on Russia, acknowledging how destructive they have been to Russia. However, when pressed on this issue, Zhao Lijian did not officially confirm or deny whether China would provide aid or military support to Russia.

Will the West Reevaluate Dependency on China?

Every nation watched the rest of the world evaluate its relationship with Russia as countries and companies have pulled out of the nation and destroyed its economy. So, as China decides whether or not to support Russia during this time, its government must weigh the high likelihood the West would begin pulling out of China’s economy, too, if it sides with Vladimir Putin and his barbaric actions in Ukraine. This consequence is likely the most significant factor in China distancing itself from Russia this week.

Andrew Small, an expert on China at the German Marshall Fund, highlighted that China would be “seen as culpable” for Putin’s war in Ukraine if they do not back away soon. DW shared more about the connection between the two countries on Twitter:

All in all, this new stance from China, if it continues, is an enormous shift for the authoritarian regime. These new statements show the government clearly understands the power of the West and NATO when it comes to sanctions, global trade, and protecting the world as it currently sits. Hopefully, this show of unity from the West continues to make China reevaluate its relationship with Putin and similar authoritarian regimes.

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